Corrections request police to locate ex-state minister

Maldives Correctional Service has requested Maldives Police Service to locate and hand over former State Minister of Youth Ministry, Ashad Ali to serve his 15-day jail sentence.

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, against whom a criminal case was ongoing, appointed Ashad as his guarantor to ensure his return when the Criminal Court permitted him to travel overseas for medical purposes. However, Ali failed to appear in court within 72 hours when he was summoned on November 28, 2021.

As Ali had failed to appear in court as agreed, a hearing was held Wednesday to decide how to penalize Ashad in his role as Ali's guarantor. However, Ashad did not attend the hearing. The judge proceeded with the hearing in his absence and sentenced Ashad to jail for 15 days for violating the guarantor agreement with the court and held him in contempt of court. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih dismissed him from his post following the sentence.

Corrections' media official Ahmed Naseem said Ashad's current location is unknown and that a request had been made to the police to locate and hand him over to corrections.

Some reports say Ashad was abroad in the United Kingdom when the sentence was delivered. However, no official authorities have confirmed his location. If he is in the United Kingdom, as reported, there would be challenges in extraditing him to the Maldives.