x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Acquittal sought for rape suspect

A lawyer representing a Quran teacher who is charged with repeatedly raping a young male student and presenting child pornography to him told the court yesterday during his closing argument that the child¿s testimony should not stand and his client should be acquitted.

DUBAI // A lawyer representing a Quran teacher who is charged with repeatedly raping a young male student and presenting child pornography to him told the court yesterday during his closing argument that the child's testimony should not stand and his client should be acquitted.

"A child in such a case cannot value the importance of facts and his words or testimony cannot be taken into account," said Abdel Razaq Saleh.

The defendant, Pakistani Quran teacher ZB, 33, was charged on April 1 with rape and sexual assault. The boy told prosecutors that ZB had taught him since February 2009 at his house five days a week, and that for seven months he was repeatedly raped.

Mr Saleh said there was a lack of evidence and misrepresentation of the facts. "The boy's mother told police that her son said that ZB molested him and inappropriately touched him several times," Mr Saleh said while reading the mother's police testimony to court.

"We have repeatedly asked for the mother to testify and she was not presented … we urge the court to present her for cross-examination, or dismiss her testimony from the case."

During the prosecutors' investigation, the boy said he did not speak about the assaults because he was in constant fear.

The court will issue a verdict on December 30.

 

amustafa@thenational.ae