Last Updated: Mon Nov 01, 2010 20:04 pm (KSA) 17:04 pm (GMT)

Teen victim in UAE rape-case HIV-free: lawyer

The boy's mother Veronique Robert (File)
The boy's mother Veronique Robert (File)

As a new hearing session takes place on Sunday in the rape case of the French-Swiss teenager in Dubai, the victim has been found to be clear of the sexually transmitted HIV disease, his lawyer and mother said.

"Medical tests have proven that he did not contract the AIDS infection," Lawyer Hussein al-Jaziri told AFP by telephone Saturday.

The victim's mother, Veronique Robert, had launched a media campaign to publicize the case and to muster support for her demand that the United Arab Emirates recognize homosexual rape in its legal system and set up adequate bodies to treat AIDS victims.

Her son was raped last year by two UAE nationals, including an HIV positive assailant.

Both defense and prosecution appealed the 15-year jail sentences handed down to the two UAE nationals on December 12. A third defendant is being tried in a juvenile court.

"It is exactly six months since he was attacked," Jaziri said, adding that the mother of the teenager informed him of the test result by phone.

"She was crying with joy," Jaziri said. "The worst nightmare in my life is over," the lawyer quoted her as saying.

The victim had previously tested negative for the disease but it can take up to six months for the virus to appear.

The mother had protested the leniency of the verdict, saying in a reference to one of the assailants that "fifteen years is nothing for someone who knew he had AIDS".

Prosecutors had demanded the maximum punishment, which could have meant the death penalty.

Three men had offered the victim a lift from a Dubai mall on July 14, before driving into the desert where the teenager was raped while being threatened with a knife and billiard cue, according to the charges.

Defense lawyers claimed the victim had consented to sex and that he had lied to the authorities. The sex act was "in consent and not forced" on the teenager, they said.

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