Criminal Court has issued a bench warrant for the arrest of former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed.
The Court, on Sunday, announced they that they will be penalizing State Minister for Youth Assad Ali (Adubarey), should Ali Waheed fail to appear before the Court in 72 hours. Adubarey signed as his guarantor for his return within the four-month period granted by the court for his travel overseas – which expired last June.
As Ali Waheed failed to show within this period, the Court, on Tuesday, issued a bench warrant for his arrest – ordering the Police that he be brought before the Court in their custody.
Ali Waheed was dismissed as Tourism Minister on July 9, 2020, after allegations that he sexually assaulted and harassed multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry was brought to the attention of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. He was initially asked to voluntarily resign, but was dismissed after he refused.
He has been pressed with seven charges; attempted rape, inflicting a sexual, indecent exposure, sexual assault, attempt to cause sexual assault, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact.
Ali Waheed, had a travel ban order issued against him on July 12, 2020, by the Criminal Court. Following a review, the order was canceled on February 9, 2021, and his passport was released.
Criminal Court had canceled the order and released his passport after listening to the testimony of Ali Waheed’s doctor who was summoned to court to brief the judge regarding his condition, as well as to confirm that he needed to go abroad for medical treatment. The doctor had explained that Ali Waheed’s life may be at risk, if he undergoes surgery in the Maldives.
The Court made the decision to lift the travel ban as he had also submitted a guarantor for his return. His guarantor is Adubarey.
He promptly left for the UK, the same day the Criminal Court canceled a travel ban issued against him in connection to the case.
However, he failed to return to Maldives at the expiration of the four-month period granted by the court for his travel overseas. Subsequently, the hearings in connection to his trial had come to a halt.
Although some hearings were held online initially following this, the Supreme Court had ordered against holding online hearings in the case.