French alleged rapist faces long jail term in Burundi

16th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A prosecutor in Burundi on Thursday sought a 35-year jail term for a Frenchman accused of raping five girls aged 13 to 17, as his lawyer denied the charges.

Patrice Faye, 58, a long-time resident, was fined and may face additional compensation fees for the alleged victims.

"After a closed-door debate, the public prosecutor requested a 35-year-sentence," Suzane Bukuru, a lawyer representing the girls told AFP.

"Taking into account the physical, moral and psychological injuries that the girls, minors aged between 13 and 17, suffered...I have asked for 11,150 euros ($15,816) in reparations for each girl," she added.

Faye's lawyer Fabien Segatwa rejected the charges, saying the case was simply a plot by girls with bad morals seeking to extort money, adding there was no evidence against him.

Faye was arrested in early April and has been detained in a prison in central Bujumbura following accusations by the five girls who attended a school he set up for poor children.

In a letter addressed to AFP in late May Faye said he was living a "real nightmare."

"Three girls have been diagnosed as virgins by a doctor and the main plaintiff, Aisha Ahishakiye, signed on March 25 a letter excusing herself over false declarations," he said.

The court's five judges presiding the case have two months to issue a ruling.

Faye, known as a nature lover, was reported by media in 2002 for having affectionately named a six-meter-long crocodile in Burundi, possibly the continent's biggest, as "Gustave."

© 2011 AFP

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