The scheduled Criminal Court hearing for former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed on allegations of sexual harassment has been cancelled.
The Criminal Court’s four-month deadline for Ali Waheed to return to the Maldives after travelling abroad for medical treatment has expired.
According to local media, the hearing was cancelled after Ali Waheed submitted medical documents to the Criminal Court, along with a letter requesting an online hearing.
Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed is on trial for seven counts of sexual offences including attempted rape, sexual assault, and harassment, all of which were brought forward by his fellow employees at the Tourism Ministry. Ali Waheed left the country in February after the Criminal Court controversially released his passport, for which the Prosecutor’s General’s office filed an ethics complaint against the judge with the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC).
The Supreme Court has now revised the procedure for suspects’ travel and prohibited them from leaving the country after choosing a guarantor, effective 15 June 2021. The Criminal Procedure Code (Act No. 12/2016) originally allowed a suspect to be released from detention, have access to their passport, and travel outside of the country after choosing a guarantor.