Appeal opens in UAE rape case after victim clear of AIDS

21st January 2008, Comments 0 comments

An appeal hearing was held on Sunday in the case of two Emiratis convicted last year of raping a French-Swiss teenager.

January 21 2008 

An appeal hearing was held on Sunday in the case of two Emiratis convicted last year of raping a French-Swiss teenager, the boy's lawyer said, after the victim was found to be clear of the AIDS virus.
The court in Dubai handled preliminary details before the judge adjourned
the case until January 27 to allow the defence more time to prepare its case,
Hussein al-Jaziri told AFP by telephone.

The defence wants the 15-year jail sentences handed down to the two United
Arab Emirates (UAE) nationals on December 12 to be quashed. A third defendant
is being tried in a juvenile court.
Prosecutors have demanded the maximum punishment, which could mean the
death penalty.
The European teenager raped by the Emiratis, including an HIV positive
assailant, has been found to be clear of the sexually transmittable disease,
Jaziri said on Saturday.

"Medical tests have proven that he did not contract the AIDS infection," he
told AFP.
"It is exactly six months since he was attacked," the lawyer said, adding
that the teenager's mother had informed him of the test result by phone. "She
was crying with joy."

The victim had previously tested negative for the disease but it can take
up to six months for the virus to appear.
The mother, Veronique Robert, has launched a media campaign to publicise
the case and muster support for her demand that the UAE recognise homosexual
rape in its legal system and set up adequate bodies to treat AIDS victims.
She has protested against the verdict, saying that "15 years is nothing for
someone who knew he had AIDS".
Three men had offered the victim a lift from a Dubai mall on July 14,
before driving into the desert where the teenager was raped while being
threatened with a knife and billiard cue, according to the charges.
Defence lawyers claimed the victim had consented to sex and had lied to the
Emirati authorities. The sex act was "in consent and not forced" on the
teenager, they said.
The case was widely reported in the Western media, denting the liberal
image of Dubai as a regional leisure and business hub.

[Copyright AFP 2008]

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