State appeals HC registrar’s decision over Ali Waheed’s passport

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed arrives at Criminal Court on January 24, 2021. (Sun Photo/Fayaz Moosa)

Prosecutor General’s Office has appealed the decision by the High Court’s registrar to reject the appeal filed in response to the Criminal Court’s decision to release former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed’s passport to with the High Court’s Council of Judges.

Ali Waheed has been pressed with multiple charges in connection to the allegation he sexually harassed and assaulted multiple female employees at the Tourism Ministry. The Criminal Court initially issued an order to seize Ali Waheed’s passport and prevent him from travelling overseas in connection to the case, but reversed the decision on February 9. He left for London the next day.

The Prosecutor General’s Office appealed the decision with the High Court, but the court’s registrar decided to reject the appeal petition, citing it was filed after the window for appeal had lapsed.

The High Court announced this Wednesday that the Prosecutor General’s Office has appealed the registrar’s decision with the Council of Judged, but that a decision is yet to be made.

High Court’s regulations states decisions by the court’s registrar can be appealed with the High Court’s Council of Judges, while decisions by the High Court’s Council of Judges can be appealed with the Supreme Court.

The Criminal Court released Ali Waheed’s passport for the period of four months after orthopedic Dr. Yoosuf Shan testified that he needs to undergo a backbone surgery. Ali Waheed’s aide, State Minister for Sports Assad Ali (Adubarey) signed as his bail guarantor.

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.

He pled not guilty to all seven charges during his arraignment at the Criminal Court on January 24.