Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed’s lawyers claimed that the sexual offence claims levelled against him are baseless and motivated by political motives.
His legal team detailed in a statement that Ali Waheed was fired without a thorough investigation and that he was never given the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations levelled against him.
The lawyers alleged that the police conducted an inquiry after which it refused to release the contents of the allegations brought against Ali Waheed.
In addition, the lawyers accused the Prosecutor General’s Office of providing false information to courts and media outlets, as well as of treating Ali Waheed unfairly.
Ali Waheed requested that his court cases be held in public, but the sessions were held in private, according to his counsel. However, under Maldivian law, trials on the types of charges levelled against Ali Waheed must be held in secret.
Ali Waheed was dismissed as tourism minister in July 2020, following allegations of sexual assault by tourism ministry employees.
He is charged with seven counts, including attempted rape, sexual indecent exposure, sexual assault, attempting to commit sexual assault, and two counts of unlawful sexual contact.