Hollande urged to intervene over India incest case
Lawyers for a French consular official who has been charged with raping his three-year-old daughter in India have urged President Francois Hollande to intervene in the high-profile case.
The lawyers, who were due to meet Hollande on Monday, say Pascal Mazurier, who worked in France's consulate in Bangalore, has been the victim of an attempted framing by his estranged Indian wife.
Mazurier and his legal team accept that France cannot be seen to be questioning the Indian judicial authorities handling of the case.
But they are hoping to persuade Hollande to press for Mazurier to have access to his three children, who are all French nationals, French daily Liberation reported.
Mazurier told the paper his wife had left him and made the allegation against him shortly before he was due to be transferred to Cape Town, South Africa.
"She gave me to understand that she would be coming with me but then moved out after filing the complaint," Mazurier was quoted as saying.
Mazurier was charged with the rape of his daughter in June 2012 after a highly-publicised arrest. He was released from custody in October but remains under house arrest and has been forced to surrender his passport.
He told Liberation he was unable to see his children for fear of reprisals in light of the attention his case attracted in the local media.
"I've been given an address but I can't take the risk of going there alone," he said.
Mazurier added that he did not expect Hollande to question the judgement of the Indian authorities.
"The French authorities have a duty of neutrality. All they can do is check that I was not maltreated in prison."
The official's lawyers however said there was clear evidence that the mother may have fabricated the evidence which led to their client's arrest and incarceration.
They told Liberation that DNA tests had established that sperm found on the little girl did not come from the father. They also claim that the mother had given underwear and bedding which she said belonged to her daughter but had subsequently been found to carry no DNA traces of the child.
"We now have clear proof that the mother fabricated and manipulated evidence," the lawyers were quoted as saying.
The lawyers also questioned why the Indian authorities had not attempted to secure testimony from the alleged victim, arguing that the prosecution's case now rests entirely on statements made by the mother.
They say the father has suffered the double injustice of being falsely imprisoned for a crime he did not commit while simultaneously having to deal with the agony of knowing that his daughter may have been raped.
© 2013 AFP