Criminal Court sends back ex-tourism minister's case

The Criminal Court sent back the case against former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed such that the case can be referred to the court later, the Prosecutor General's Office has said.

Seven charges were raised against the former tourism minister, who was dismissed from his post over sexual harassment allegations. The charges raised against Ali Waheed include inflicting sexual injury under Article 16 of the Sexual Offences Act, attempted rape under Article 15 of the same act, indecent exposure under Section 132 of the Penal Code, sexual assault under Article 18 of the Sexual Offences Act, attempt to cause sexual assault under Article 19 of the Sexual Offences Act, and two counts of unlawful sexual conduct under section 412 and 81 of the Penal Code. Ali fled the country under the pretense of seeking medical treatment in February 2021 and is currently in the United Kingdom.

Prosecutor General's Office's media officer Ahmed Shafeeu said the court's decision to send the case was its own decision. The case was sent to the Prosecutor General's Office on Monday, he said.

The court decided to send back Ali's case under Article 83 of the Criminal Procedure Regulations. According to the article, if the accused can be produced before the court later, the case can be submitted to the court again.