The Prosecutor General’s Office has spoken out against the Criminal Court’s decision to hold former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed’s trial online.
Ali Waheed, who fled the country after his passport was released due to a medical emergency, was expected to return to the Maldives in June when his four-month medical treatment period expired, but he has yet to return. He requested an online hearing through the Maldives Criminal Court in a letter dated June 10th.
According to local media, Prosecutor General Hussain Shameem represented the state in yesterday’s hearing, telling the court that he did not believe the hearing was a valid court hearing.
PG Shameem earlier claimed that holding the trial while Ali Waheed is in a country outside the jurisdiction of the court is meaningless since the court’s ruling will be impossible to enforce.
The Prosecutor General’s Office has disputed the Criminal Court’s decision to have an online trial, and it has also requested papers relating to Ali Waheed’s request for an online trial.
Ali Waheed is being charged with a total of seven counts of sexual offences.
- One count of sexual abuse under article 16 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- One count of attempted rape under article 15 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- One count of indecent exposure under article 132 of The Constitution of Maldives
- One count of sexual harassment under article 18 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- One count of attempted sexual abuse under article 19 of the Sexual Offences Act (17/2014)
- Two counts of unlawful sexual contact under article 81 and 412 of Maldives Penal Code 9/2014
Ali Waheed has denied all the charges lodged against him. However, if found guilty of the charges, he will face up to 21 years imprisonment.