Lebanese businessman freed of rape charge

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Criminal High Court presided over by Justice George Buadi, has acquitted and discharged Lebanese National charged for raping his house help three years ago at his Airport Hills residence after a seven Member Jury delivered a not guilty verdict.

Rabih Haddad, the Accused person, was arrested on the 3rd of December 2017, for allegedly raping her nineteen (19) year old house-help, Esther Akuvi, in his home at Airport Hills on two occasions, the 30th of November 2017 and the 2nd of December 2017.

The Court in its summing up to the Jury before they return their verdict indicated tha the State called a total of nine (9) witnesses out of the ten (10) they intended to call. The Accused person according to the Court testified himself in court but did not call any witnesses.

The Court also indicated that the decision of the victim not to report the incident of rape that the Victim alleges took place on the 30th of November 2017 was quite surprising. The Court noted that when she first went to the Police Station, she only reported a case of assault and not rape. It took a journalist the Court noted, to accompany the victim to the Police Station at a later date before a complaint of rape was lodged. Additionally, the Court said it was mind-boggling why she refused to go to the hospital for medical examination after reporting to the Police to have been raped.

The Court further indicated that there appear to have been some inconsistencies in the testimony of the victim, Esther Akuvi, and some other witnesses of the State. According to the Court, the Medical Doctor who examined the victim after the report of rape did not in anyway link the virginal discharge of Esther Akuvi to the Accused person.

Justice Baudi in his summary of proceedings also noted that call records of the Accused person obtained from MTN clearly supports the defence of the Accused person that he was not in his house at the time the said rape was committed. The Court cautioned the Jury not to rely on the evidence given by the Prosecution witnesses describing their testimonies as “dangerous”.

“In my candid opinion, Esther’s story stands uncorroborated by any of the nine (9) witnesses” the Court stated.

The Jury which had four (4) women and three (3) men, through its foreman subsequently delivered a unanimous verdict of not guilty. Justice George Buadi to this end acquitted and discharged Rabih Haddad.

The State was represented by Victoria Aseiduwaa, a Principal State Attorney. Lawyer Paul Assibi Abariga, represented the Accused person.

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