Ali Waheed to Police: If authorities wish to extradite me to Maldives, they can

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed. (File Photo/Sun/Ahmed Saeed)

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, on Monday, has stated that if relevant government authorities wished to extradite him to Maldives, they have the capability to do so.

The statement from Ali Waheed comes after the Commissioner of Police Mohamed Hameed, on Sunday, stated that there is no possible way to extradite Ali Waheed back to Maldives, even if an Interpol red notice is issued against him.

Ali Waheed responded to this whilst in the UK – saying that any country will accept it if a legitimate investigation was carried out and if legitimate charges were raised. However, he stressed that without the specification of the offenses he committed, there is “no doing whatever desired”.

“Whereas it is a suspicion raised after framing, and the PG cannot even detail what offense was committed at the courts, there is no doing whatever desired in the international systems. By god’s will, I will find justice,” he had said.

In an additional tweet, Ali Waheed said that the UK’s courts and judges cannot be influenced by Maldives’ Judicial Service Commission (JSC) – adding that it is the reason why government authorities are not working to extradite him to Maldives.

“The UK courts are open. The judges here cannot be influenced by a call from the President, or a push of JSC. I am ready to respond within the system. Will not allow any games to be played. I will return,” the tweet read.

In a press conference held yesterday, CP Hameed said efforts were underway to enforce the court order which calls for Ali Waheed to be brought before the court regarding the charges raised against him.

However, he added that an Interpol red notice for Ali Waheed’s arrest has not been issued so far.

“From the moment the court orders us, the work will commence. Interpol red notices are notices which are enforced differently in different jurisdictions and countries. Just because an Interpol red notice is issued, it does not mean we can arrest someone and extradite them to our jurisdiction,” he had said.

Speaking further, CP Hameed said there were difficulties in extraditing Ali Waheed due to the nature of the sentence passed down on him – adding that no agreement has been made between the UK and Maldives regarding the extradition of such individuals.

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 initially had a travel ban order against him, but the Criminal Court temporarily released his passport and allowed him to travel overseas for medical treatment on February 9, despite requests by the Prosecutor General's Office not to release his passport and grant him temporary travel papers instead.  He promptly left for the UK.

Ali Waheed failed to return to Maldives despite the fact that the four-month period granted by the court for his travel overseas expired last June.