Parliament to oversee Ali Waheed's departure case

Parliamentarians pictured during a sitting. (Photo/People's Majlis)

The Parliament has voted to oversee the case of the departure of former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, who is facing seven charges for sexual abuse-related crimes, from the Maldives. 

Ali Waheed departed from the Maldives on February 9, 2021, after the Criminal Court released his passport. He is facing seven charges including those of attempted rape, sexual abuse, and harassment made against him based on allegations by Tourism Ministry employees, which saw him get fired from his post in 2020.

Four female parliamentarians submitted an issue to the parliament to see if any party was negligent or had committed any wrongdoings in the departure of Ali Waheed. The parliamentary report by the Judiciary Committee on the issue was voted for by 33 MPs in today’s sitting. 

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

The Prosecutor General’s Office has also lodged an ethics complaint with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) against the judge who released Ali Waheed’s passport. The committee report recommended the parliament to oversee the complaint amongst other recommendations.

The report also recommended a temporary travel permit instead of the release of the passport of individuals charged with serious criminal matters. 

Courts are also to look into whether the accused has the financial means to live abroad and whether they may use the resources at their disposal to escape justice, read the report. The temporary document is also to include details of the travel such as the date of departure and the return date. The accused are to attend court hearings scheduled as per the travel documents. 

Ali Waheed’s passport was released for four months. If he does not return, his guarantor Youth Ministry’s State Miniter, and a close friend of Ali Waheed, Assad Ali will be reprimanded.