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Victim's lawyer slams 'cynical' asylum bid by Libyan sex offenders

Published 01/10/2015

Khaled El Azibi and two other Libyans are seeking asylum (Cambridgeshire Police/PA)
Khaled El Azibi and two other Libyans are seeking asylum (Cambridgeshire Police/PA)

One of the sexual assault victims of three "despicable" Libyan soldiers who are seeking asylum in the UK has expressed her anger at their "arrogance", saying they should never be allowed to stay in the country.

The woman received a letter yesterday informing her of their applications, and her lawyers have written to David Cameron to express her "serious concerns" over the situation.

Khaled El Azibi, Naji El Maarfi and Mohammed Abdalsalam carried out the attacks while stationed at Bassingbourn Barracks last October.

Each of the men were jailed for between 10 and 12 months, and upon release were sent to secure immigration units. They are now seeking asylum.

Speaking out against the applications, one of the victims said: "Seeing my attackers' faces again has brought what happened flooding back. They subjected me to a horrible, intimidating sexual assault which I will never be able to forget.

"I'm incredibly angry that these men would have the arrogance to try to apply for asylum after committing such despicable crimes.

"It is not only an insult to me and the other women they attacked but an insult to all those people who genuinely need asylum here.

"They have brought this on themselves and should never be granted asylum."

Her lawyers have written to the Prime Minister, saying that any decision to allow the men to stay in the UK would bring the system into disrepute.

The cadets were among 300 troops being trained to support the newly-formed Libyan government.

Mr Cameron previously insisted that no Libyan soldiers involved in the programme should be granted asylum after a "very small handful" made applications to stay in the UK.

Slater and Gordon specialist abuse lawyer Richard Scorer, who represents the woman, said: "This is a cynical asylum bid by attackers who don't appear to have shown any contrition for their awful crimes.

"If an application like this were to succeed it would bring the asylum system into disrepute at a time when many are in genuine need of sanctuary from war and persecution."

The cadets stole bicycles and rode into Cambridge city centre before accosting three teenage women during the early hours of October 26 2014.

The attacks included trying to kiss a woman without consent and then sexually assaulting her. El Maarfi exposed himself to one of the women.

Two other cadets were jailed for a brutal rape in a separate incident on the same night last year.

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, were both jailed for 12 years after acting like "hunting dogs" as they raped a man.

The attacks were part of other concerning conduct by Libyan cadets at the base following a "collapse of discipline".

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

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