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Footballer’s lawyer contests against rape charges

Lawyer says complainant’s statement is contradictory which no rape occurred

Gulf News

Dubai: The lawyer of a footballer, who is accused of raping a woman after a dinner invite at a luxurious hotel, has asked a court to modify the charge to consensual sex.

Pleading not guilty at an earlier hearing before the Dubai Court of First Instance, the Emirati footballer denied raping the 36-year-old Lebanese woman friend after dinner in a hotel in Palm Jumeirah in March.

“The woman had alleged that she was raped by my client … but that was absolutely not true or factual. Her statement before the police clearly contradicted her statement before prosecutors. She distorted and twisted all facts and even lied about what had actually happened during the incident … she was not raped but they had consensual sex,” the footballer’s lawyer Ali Abdullah Al Shamsi argued before presiding judge Urfan Omar.

The Lebanese claimant had alleged in her statement that the suspect booked two separate rooms at the hotel. Meanwhile, the hotel check-in records proved that one room had been booked, contended the lawyer.

“She allegedly told police that on the night when the incident happened, she wore a sleeping dress … but when she testified in court, she contradicted herself and said she wore a swimsuit. The woman also alleged earlier that my client had consumed alcohol with her. But the suspect’s results came negative when he was tested for alcohol.

She had willingly agreed to spend the night with him in the same room. The forensic examination report reversed her claim that the suspect had used physical violence with her as when she was examined, the results showed that there were no bruises or injuries on her body,” Al Shamsi said in court.

In an earlier hearing, the suspect’s friend testified in court that the Lebanese woman tried to blackmail the footballer and asked him for Dh250,000 to waive her complaint.

Challenging what he described by the claimant’s ‘illogical or un-factual claims’, Al Shamsi argued: “The woman alleged that the suspect had abnormal sex with her for two hours non-stop … however, the forensic examiner’s report confirmed that she had a normal intercourse. Based on all those unfounded claims and our defence argument, we ask the court to refer the case back to prosecutors to modify the charges from rape to having consensual sex. Otherwise, to acquit our client of rape.”

The suspect called up the Lebanese woman and invited her, according to records, and other friends to a fancy dinner at the luxury hotel.

The footballer, who has played for several clubs and the national team, informed the Lebanese woman that he had made a room reservation for her to stay overnight.

The Emirati went up to the room, they sat at the balcony drinking and eating mixed nuts for some time and when the woman walked into the room, the man tried to flirt with her, but she rejected him.

When she persistently cut him off, said records, the suspect turned violent, pulled her by her hair, threw her on the bed and raped her.

The footballer strongly refuted the charge of rape and pleaded not guilty.

Presiding judge Omar will hand out ruling on December 14.

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