Maldives’ former minister, accused of sexual harassment, sentenced to two months in prison

Former Maldivian Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, accused of sexually harassing several of the ministry’s female employees, has been sentenced to two months and 12 days in prison by the country’s apex court

Aug 12, 2021
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Former Maldivian Tourism Minister Ali Waheed

Former Maldivian Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, accused of sexually harassing several of the ministry’s female employees, has been sentenced to two months and 12 days in prison by the country’s apex court. The order came after he failed to appear in the court despite repeated notices issued to him.  

Waheed was dismissed by President Ibrahim Mohammed Solih in July last year and was charged with seven counts of sexual assault. For months, he has been staying in the United Kingdom and was attending court hearings online from there. 

Later, the Supreme Court had asked him to appear physically in the court which he failed to do. The court on Wednesday initiated a contempt proceeding against him, considering the disregard shown by him to the court’s orders, reported Raajje TV. 

On Wednesday, the court sentenced him to two months and 12 days in prison. 

The former minister traveled to the UK in February this year after the Criminal Court released his passport on a "medical referral". He was given four months to return to the court. Despite the expire of the relaxation period, he failed to return to the country.

Last year, several female employees of the tourism ministry leveled serious allegations of sexually harassing them, using his official authority. Following the allegations, he was asked to resign from the position. President Solih dismissed him after he refused to resign, claiming the allegations against him were “politically motivated.” 

(SAM)