Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed was sentenced to two months in prison by the Maldives Supreme Court for failing to appear at his appeal hearing.
The first hearing in the Prosecutor General’s Office’s appeal against the decision to allow online hearings in Ali Waheed’s criminal case was scheduled for August 2, but was rescheduled for 01:00 p.m. on Wednesday after the Supreme Court ordered the defendant Ali Waheed to be physically present in court for the hearing.
But Ali Waheed did not attend the hearing after fleeing to the United Kingdom in February following the Criminal Court’s decision to temporarily suspend the travel restriction order against him.
His failure to appear in court was deemed as contempt of court by the Supreme Court, with Justice Husnu Al-Suood, who presides over the three-judge bench, condemning him to two months and 12 days in prison for failing to appear before the court twice despite receiving court summons.
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.