Ex-Tourism Minister denies all allegations, challenges accusers to produce evidence

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has sworn that he has never sexually harassed or assaulted any individual.

Initially facing seven charges of sexual assault involving 16 ministry employees during his tenure as the government's first tourism minister, Ali Waheed traveled abroad for medical treatment and remained in self-exile in the United Kingdom for two years. However, a recent development emerged as the prosecution withdrew the charges against him on June 6, due to the unwillingness of witnesses against Ali to proceed with the cases.

Returning to the Maldives today following the decision, Ali spoke to reporters at Velana International Airport. He asserted that the allegations against him were baseless and claimed they were part of a conspiracy orchestrated by certain individuals within the main-ruling MDP before its division into two factions. According to Ali, the intention behind these events was to tarnish his political career and destroy him. He challenged his accusers to come forward and prove the charges by producing evidence.

"I'm saying with confidence, there is nothing [they can show to prove my guilt]," he said.

When a journalist asked him to swear that he had not molested or insulted anyone, Ali swore that he had not done so in front of all the journalists and supporters present at the time.

"I swear by Allah... there would be none.. none.. none.. No sexual assault, no sexual harassment, rape, nothing," Ali proclaimed.

Ali went on to state that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih, the main opposition leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Qayyoom, and the Jumhooree Party played no part in "framing" him.

“I was stabbed in the back by a 'big fish' in the political arena,” Ali said.

Ali said he came to the Maldives to seek justice through the system for the allegations against him and said he would respond to those who accuse him. However, he said he would not seek charges against the state and those who framed him.