x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Man 'raped niece then told her to get surgery'

His lawyer says the accusations are simply part of a family feud.

Abu Dhabi // A man yesterday denied raping his 14-year-old niece then demanding she undergo surgery to restore her virginity.

A S, an Iranian who lives in Bani Yas, appeared yesterday before the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance charged with raping the girl on December 4.

He pleaded not guilty.

Prosecutors say the two lived with the family of the victim’s grandfather, along ith other family members, inculding A S’ daughters.

A S is alleged to have raped the victim after finding her sleeping in the bedroom of one of his daughters.

The victim said A S told her he was willing to pay between Dh10,000 and Dh20,000 to restore her virginity.

According to the victim, her father then asked her to drop the case, marry the defendant for 15 days, then divorce him.

But Abdulraouf Abdulqader, for the defence, denied the incident took place, telling the court the charges were based on hearsay and arguing that forensic evidence showed no sign of assault.

Mr Abdulqader asked the court to reject her testimony, but was interrupted by the Chief Justice Saeed Abdul Baseer, who objected: “We did not say we accepted the testimony – we were satisfied with it.”

Mr Abdulqader cited inconsistencies in her testimony. “She told the court something she did not say to the police or prosecutors – her father, after he knew of the incident, offered to marry her off to the defendant and then divorce her after 15 days. Her father denied that,” he said

Witnesses from the family, including the grandfather, said the girl’s mother had pushed her to lodge a complaint because of a grudge dating back to before the girl was born.

Her mother, the witnesses said, had asked A S to marry her more than a decade before but he married her sister instead. The victim’s parents are divorced and her father lives in Oman.

The lawyer asked for acquittal on grounds of lack of evidence.

“The defendant has denied the incident took place in the first place and no evidence was presented against him,” Mr Abdulqader said.

“After going through the cross-examination carried out by the court, we are left with no doubts that the story was entirely made up and based on her testimony which cannot be taken as a legal evidence.”

The judges will deliver their verdict on March 15.

hhassan@thenational.ae