Former Tourism Minister Ali Waheed, accused of rape and sexually assaulting employees while he was in office, stated on Monday that he did not commit any of the crimes he has been accused of.
This was the first press conference held by Ali Waheed since he was removed from office in July 2020 after the sexual assault allegations were aimed at him. The press conference, which went on for nearly two hours, had to be conducted online as he has fled Maldives and is currently residing in the United Kingdom (UK).
Ali Waheed had said he had not committed any crime and nor can it be proven against him in court. He accused that he was being set up by people with personal grudges against him as well.
He said Chief of Staff of the President's Office had called him on July 8, 2020 and requested to resign from his post. He later called President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on his own and had informed him that he had not done anything that would require him to resign, he said.
According to Ali Waheed, the President said it would be best if he were to step away from office.
"I said I was working hard and very sincerely. Why would I have to resign then... In and out of office, I would not have anything [that would require me to resign]. That I worked along with the President in the parliament for a long time as well, so he would know as well," Ali Waheed said.
He said as he had not committed a crime, he would back not down. He had informed then too that he would not resign over something he did not commit in order to "smoothen things over."
He was removed from his post the following day.
Ali Waheed was summoned to the Police on July 19 of 2020 regarding the sexual assault accusations aimed at him. However he said he has not been questioned by any authority over this case.
Despite this, Ali Waheed had addressed the media on July 19 last year when he came out of the police station and said he was being set up. He had also said on that day that if an honest investigation was carried out it would be proven that he did not commit any of the crimes he is accused of.
He also said he has not "fled" the nation and he was abroad for medical purposes. He has been providing updates to the police about his stay abroad.