Ex-tourism minister travels abroad after travel ban lifted

Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed has departed abroad after a travel ban issued against him was lifted by the Criminal Court.

Seven charges were raised against the former minister by the Prosector General’s Office regarding acts of sexual harassment that are said to have been committed by the minister during his time in office. The charges raised against Ali Waheed include inflicting sexual injury under Article 16 of 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.

While the Criminal Court imposed the travel ban earlier in July 2020, the court said it lifted the ban after doctors confirmed that Ali Waheed has to travel abroad to seek medical treatment. A guarantor was also presented to ensure his return, said the court.

President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih dismissed him from the post earlier in July after the matter was brought to his attention by the victims. Before that, the minister had refused to resign when he was asked to step down from his post. Ali Waheed claims that he is being framed for political motives, and continues to assert his innocence.