2 rape suspects ask for acquittal

2 rape suspects ask for acquittal

TWO men accused of raping and assaulting a Keetmanshoop resident following a drinking binge at a local shebeen the previous night are set to hear tomorrow whether their bid for acquittal has succeeded.

Alex Johannes Roos and Immanuel Claassen – facing charges of rape and attempted rape respectively – pleaded not guilty at the start of their trial in the High Court at Keetmanshoop on Wednesday last week. The woman who laid the charges against the two men testified that Roos had raped and assaulted her in a dry riverbed at Keetmanshoop on February 5 2005, while Claassen attempted to rape her.Defence counsel Winnie Christians yesterday asked Judge Kato van Niekerk to acquit the two men on all charges.He argued the evidence given by the woman had been of poor quality and had been contradicted by evidence given by other State witnesses.In addition, he said, the woman had conceded under cross-examination that she had lied to the court after it was put to her that her court testimony differed from the statement she had made to the Police a day after the alleged rape.He further claimed that the woman appeared confused when tested under cross-examination because she was guessing most of the time.”Though credibility plays a limited role in proving innocence, the victim’s credibility cannot be overlooked,” Christians said.”The acquittal application has caught me by surprise,” State advocate Ed Marondedze said.He contended that the acquittal application was “ill-founded and baseless”.He argued the two accused men had run off when security guards came to the woman’s rescue when they heard her screaming.According to the woman, the two suspects had also injured her, Marondedze said.Judge Van Niekerk adjourned the trial until tomorrow.The woman who laid the charges against the two men testified that Roos had raped and assaulted her in a dry riverbed at Keetmanshoop on February 5 2005, while Claassen attempted to rape her.Defence counsel Winnie Christians yesterday asked Judge Kato van Niekerk to acquit the two men on all charges.He argued the evidence given by the woman had been of poor quality and had been contradicted by evidence given by other State witnesses.In addition, he said, the woman had conceded under cross-examination that she had lied to the court after it was put to her that her court testimony differed from the statement she had made to the Police a day after the alleged rape.He further claimed that the woman appeared confused when tested under cross-examination because she was guessing most of the time.”Though credibility plays a limited role in proving innocence, the victim’s credibility cannot be overlooked,” Christians said. “The acquittal application has caught me by surprise,” State advocate Ed Marondedze said.He contended that the acquittal application was “ill-founded and baseless”.He argued the two accused men had run off when security guards came to the woman’s rescue when they heard her screaming.According to the woman, the two suspects had also injured her, Marondedze said.Judge Van Niekerk adjourned the trial until tomorrow.

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