Just Another Guy with Opinions

French Boy Rape Trial Begins in Dubai

Posted by shadmia on November 13, 2007


Alexandre Robert, a 15-year-old French boy was raped by three men after accepting a ride home from a 17-year-old acquaintance (who also participated in the rape). The perpetrators threatened to harm his family if he reported it. Alex did tell his parents about the rape, was examined by a doctor and after some difficulty, filed a police report. It was later learned that one of his attackers had AIDS. All three men were arrested, identified by Alex in a police lineup and face trial. The trial of two of the suspects (aged 18 and 35) has just begun. The 17-year-old faces trial separately as a juvenile. For the full details of the case so far click here.

“I’m not ashamed to tell the truth and only the truth. I feel relieved … and angry,” Alexandre said outside the court after giving his testimony. “I see Dubai in another light.”

The trial began on Nov. 7th with Alex giving testimony in a closed court session. The two adult suspects are only identified by their initials: 35-year-old A.K. and 18-year-old I.M. The juvenile, who faces a separate trial, is identified as 17-year-old I.S.

Before the trial began two Emirati lawyers refused to represent the two men, citing the “socially sensitive nature” of the case. Presiding judge Fahmi Mounir asked one of the other lawyers who were present, to handle the case. An expatriate lawyer volunteered to do so and he will defend the two suspects. All three were charged with forcefully undressing the victim, threatening him with a knife and stick before raping him. A.K was solely charged with threatening to kill the victim with the stick. A.K. and I.M. have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Alexandre Robert testified in court as follows: (note: F.K. refers to the friend who was with Alex at the time of the rape)

Alexandre Robert testified that he coincidently met I.S. while leaving a mall. “He offered to drop my friend and I home. Fifteen minutes later the other suspects joined us in the car … I.S. who carried a pocketknife asked me to step out of the car, but I refused. They took away our phones and switched them off when I called 999.

“I.S. threatened to rape my mother, burn my parents and our house meanwhile A.K. pulled my friend out of the car powerfully.” The victim added, in his statement, that he was beaten, forced to remove his clothes before the defendants raped him successively.

F.K. confirmed the victim’s testimony and said, in his statement, he was kept ten metres away from the car and the suspects watched him one at time during the rape.

“When I returned to the vehicle, my friend looked petrified and was quivering. I saw him carrying his underwear in a small bag. The car got stuck in the sand before the relative of one of the suspects came and pulled us out,” said F.K.

Alexandre’s lawyer Samir Jaafar, of Jaafar, A’alwan and Al Jaziri and Co Advocates and Legal Consultants is claiming Dh20,500 (not sure on the exchange rate!) in temporary compensation which the suspects have been asked to pay jointly.

The case has attracted international attention especially since one of the attackers has AIDS. Coincidentally, actress Sharon Stone is preparing to host a major fund-raiser in Dubai on December 10 for the Foundation for AIDS Research, or amfAR, for which she heads global fund-raising. The organization’s chief executive officer, Kevin Frost, contacted Alexandre’s mother, Véronique Robert, expressed concern for what happened to her son and asked what she thought they should do about the event. He held out the possibility of canceling but also indicated that they could use the event as “an opportunity to raise awareness about AIDS in a part of the world where there’s an incredible amount of denial about the issue.” Véronique Robert says she hopes the organization will speak about her son’s attack during its high-profile event. For Dubai, accustomed to glowing articles about its astonishing growth and impressive architecture, that would indeed be rare — and unsettling — publicity.

In the meantime the trial continues….. Véronique Robert has set up a website for those who wish to express support for her son.


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