Belfast Telegraph

Paralympic trio held on sex assault allegations

By Lesley-Anne McKeown

Three members of a paralympic team, believed to be from the Middle East, have been arrested by the PSNI on suspicion of indecent assault, the Belfast Telegraph can reveal.

The men, who were last night being quizzed by detectives at Antrim PSNI station, were detained in the town yesterday afternoon.

Several paralympic teams from the region — Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Algeria, Djibouti and Oman — are completing their pre-Games training at Antrim Forum.

The teams from Egypt and Sudan as well as Mexico, St Vincent and the Grenadines are also based at the facility.

They are among 17 international paralympic teams currently based at training camps across Northern Ireland, totalling hundreds of competitors and officials.

Most are expected to remain in Antrim until the Games, which begin in London on August 29.

Responding to inquiries about the arrests, a spokeswoman for the PSNI said: “Three men have been arrested in connection with an alleged indecent assault.”

It is not known whether the arrested trio are athletes or support staff.

Last night no charges had been brought against the three men who were still in police custody.

One source told the Belfast Telegraph he believed the PSNI were investigating allegations of “inappropriate behaviour”.

“It is my understanding that the team have had a PSNI escort throughout their stay in Antrim,” he said. “The three men were taken to Antrim police station at about 6pm.”

The DUP Mayor of Antrim, Roy Thompson, declined to comment because there was an ongoing police investigation.

The Belfast Telegraph contacted Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin directly for comment and confirmation of the identity of the arrested men, but were directed to her departmental press office, who declined to comment, saying it was a “police matter”.

The London games will be the biggest Paralympics yet with 4,300 athletes from 166 nations.

Belfast Telegraph

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