Ex state minister returns to Maldives; in Correction's custody

Former State Minister at the Youth Ministry, Ashad Ali, has returned to the Maldives and turned himself in to Maldives Correctional Services.

Last week, the Criminal Court ordered for Ashad to be jailed for 15 days after he failed to fulfill his role as former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed's guarantor to ensure that he attends court. He was also found guilty of contempt of court.

When the sentence was delivered, Ashad was not in the Maldives, and Maldives Correctional Service could not enforce the ruling as they failed to locate him. Corrections sought the assistance of the Maldives Police Service to locate him, who informed that Ashad was abroad and not in the Maldives.

The Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu Saturday said Ashad had returned to the Maldives and handed himself over to Corrections. He confirmed that Ashad had been taken to jail to serve his sentence.

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, against whom a criminal case is 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 on February 2 to decide how to penalize Ashad in his role as Ali's guarantor. As Ashad failed to appear in court despite summons having been delivered, the sentence was delivered in his absence. The Judge ordered Maldives Correctional Services to jail Ashad for 15 days for violating the agreement with the court and failing to ensure Ali's appearance at court. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih ordered his termination as State Minister when the sentence was delivered.