Corrections informed that Adubarey is not in Maldives, efforts to locate him stopped

Assad Ali (Adubarey). (Sun Photo/Mohamed Afrah)

Maldives Police Service has informed Maldives Correctional Service that former State Minister for Youth Assad Ali (Adubarey) who was sentenced to jail – is currently not in the Maldives following Corrections request to arrest him to enforce the jail sentence.

Adubarey was sentenced to 15 days in jail as the guarantor for the return of former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed – who has failed to appear at the court to stand trial on multiple charges of sexual offenses after being allowed to travel abroad for medical purposes – on February 2.

At the time the sentence was delivered, Adubarey had already left to the UK, where Ali Waheed is currently residing. Therefore, Corrections had requested the Police to find and extradite Adubarey in order to enforce the jail sentence on the same day the sentence was delivered.

A Police Spokesperson said as their investigation had found that Adubarey was not in the Maldives – they had informed the same to Corrections. No further details were disclosed.

Sun has been informed that Police had not made any additional efforts to find Adubarey. Corrections had only requested to verify whether he was in the Maldives or not. Any additional efforts would be made once Corrections lodge in another request.

Sun has been unsuccessful in its efforts to get a statement from Corrections regarding the matter.

Assad’s departure abroad at the time of his sentencing was deeply criticized by the public. This is as it took over a month to penalize Adubarey for Ali Waheed’s failure to appear at the Court after they decided to penalize him should Ali Waheed fail to appear before the Court in 72 hours on November 28. Subsequently, at the time Adubarey was sentenced – he had already left the country.

Whist Corrections had requested Police to arrest and extradite Ali Waheed to enforce his jail sentence over months ago – this has yet to happen as well. However, Police, on Wednesday, stated that they are currently collaborating with international agencies to arrest and extradite Ali Waheed.

Case Background

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 was then-State Minister for Youth Assad Ali (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.