Ex-Tourism Minister recants allegations against Pres Solih, cites 'smoke screen' tactics

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has renounced his previous allegation that President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih received MVR 35 million from the MMPRC scam.

After facing sexual assault charges, which have since been withdrawn, Ali Waheed returned to the Maldives today following two years of self-exile. The prosecution dropped the charges against him on June 6 due to the unwillingness of witnesses to proceed with the cases.

During his time in self-exile in the United Kingdom, Ali Waheed made corruption allegations against President Solih in a media interview. He had claimed that the president received MVR 35 million from the MMPRC funds, stating that the police had video evidence of the president leaving with the money.

Speaking to reporters today upon his return to the Maldives, Ali retracted his allegations against President Solih. He stated that President Solih was financially well-off and did not require such a substantial sum of money.

Ali explained that he had previously accused President Solih of corruption in order to find out who framed him for sexual assault charges with the intention of ending his political career. He described his allegations against the president as a "smokescreen" meant to identify those responsible for framing him.

"I did not know who had framed me until after that interview. I used that press conference as a smoke screen. I linked the word [corruption] to the president as a smoke screen," Ali vaguely clarified.

Ali said he knew for sure who had framed him after he made accusations against the president. He said the PPM leader, former President Abdullah Yameen, the Jumhooree Party, and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih were not involved in framing him.

Ali added that although he knew the people who framed him, he had no intention of taking action against them. He said he believed discussing the MMPRC scandal today would only worsen the present situation. He also argued that it was not fair to imprison only former President Abdullah Yameen and former Vice President Ahmed Adeeb in connection with the MMPRC scam, suggesting that others should also be held accountable.