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Rape accused 'like hunting dogs'

Published 06/05/2015

The pair were training at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire
The pair were training at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire

Two Libyan soldiers who were training in the UK acted like "hunting dogs" before taking it in turns to hold down and rape a man after leaving their barracks unsupervised, a court has heard.

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, both deny raping and aiding and abetting the rape of a man in his 20s on Christ's Pieces in Cambridge on October 26.

The pair were arrested while undergoing training at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire as part of an agreement by the British government to help war torn Libya after the 2011 collapse of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Opening the case at Cambridge Crown Court today, prosecutor John Farmer met their alleged victim, a "complete stranger", in the centre of the city at 3.26am.

He had left a wedding party after drinking "formidable" amounts of alcohol and is seen on CCTV footage being led to the park by the defendants.

Mr Farmer said: "He was in no fit state one way or another to consent.

"They behaved like two hunting dogs who had seen a wounded animal.

"They effectively took him over and, initially not using too much force and later more forcefully, kept him going in the direction they wanted him to go."

Once at Christ's Pieces, the men each raped the man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, while the other held him down.

The two rapes are said to have taken 38 minutes and the victim contacted police to report the attack minutes after the men fled.

Mr Farmer said both accept they had sex with the man but say he consented. They say he made up the allegation after stealing money from them.

Three of their fellow soldiers were also arrested around the same time in connection with unrelated sex offences in the city and are currently awaiting sentencing after admitting their crimes.

This coincided with other concerns over the conduct of Libyan cadets training at the base.

The incidents prompted the Ministry of Defence to send 300 soldiers back to their home country prematurely, ending an agreement to put 2,000 soldiers through basic infantry and junior command training in an attempt to help rebuild the troubled nation.

Jurors were shown a series of CCTV clips showing the three men travelling to the park.

The victim is expected to give evidence tomorrow.

The trial is due to last six days.

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From Belfast Telegraph