x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Mentally disabled woman not fit to testify, Abu Dhabi court hears

A woman with a mental disability who claims she was raped is not fit to testify, defence lawyers tell an Abu Dhabi court.

ABU DHABI // A mentally disabled woman who said she was raped is unfit to testify, a lawyer argued yesterday.

The woman, a 22-year-old Arab who was born with her disability, claimed that the Asian man, ASR, tricked her into getting into his car before taking her for lunch. She said he then bought condoms from a petrol station and took her to a villa where he raped her.

The man, who is also in his 20s, claims that he was in a relationship with the woman, and that the sex was consensual.

His lawyer questioned yesterday why the woman took three months to report the rape.

"If she was harmed, then she should have complained straight away," he told the Criminal Court, adding that if the man had been harassing her, she could have made a scene when they were in public. He said she could also have got out of the car when the man bought condoms, as "they only have one usage".

The only evidence in the case, he said, was the woman's testimony and that could not be used because she was mentally disabled.

He went on to question why her family did not report her missing to police, even though she was gone for four hours.

He also said that phone records showed the woman had made calls to the man.

A verdict is expected on November 7.

osalem@thenational.ae