Seychelles' top court hears case of alleged sex attack at hotel against Russian travel writer
Seychelles court's building 'Palais de Justice' at Ile du Port, where also sits the Supreme Court. (Seychelles News Agency)
(Seychelles News Agency) - The Seychelles Supreme Court has begun hearing evidence in the case of a Mauritian man charged with sexual abuse for an alleged attack against a Russian travel writer at a resort last year.
The Russian travel writer filed a civil case last year after not being satisfied with the way her criminal case was going.
In May last year, she accused a Mauritian man who was working at Six Senses Zil Pasyon on Felicite Island of rape in an email to media houses in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
“It is still hugely traumatising for me to recall those events and it is traumatic to listen to the ridiculous and sometimes humiliating version of the defence. I was so shocked last December about the pushing and theatrical way I was cross-questioned by the defence lawyer. I had to defend myself by being sarcastic,” the writer told SNA through Facebook on Thursday.
Earlier this year, the defence lawyer at the time, Basil Hoareau, told the court that he will “do a submission of a no case to answer” for lack of evidence and will seek to have the case dismissed.
She said that “this time, in the civil suit, I went through it better.”
The Russian travel writer, who requested for her name to be withheld based on the alleged crime, testified in the civil case for the first time before the court, last Thursday.
The case is being heard by Chief Justice Mathilda Twomey.
The writer said that her attacker raped her for two hours and had used a knife as a weapon. She said that she suggested that her attacker accessed her room through an open balcony door to get inside. “It is hard to go back in memory to that life-threatening event. I know the truth and I hope the right decision is taken at the end,” she said.
Meanwhile, the defence lawyer, Samantha Aglae, said that she will not comment for the time being as the case is still going on.
The lawyer of the Russian writer, Seychellois Frank Elisabeth, said his client is asking for compensation, which she has a right to do so if that will bring her closure.
“If I win the case, I will send a part to charity programmes standing against violence to women and women rights. I also have a fundraising campaign that will give back to the society,” said the writer.
The writer said after her return to Russia it took her two months to recover and had to see a psychologist.
On Thursday the psychologist who saw the writer in Russia gave her testimony to the Seychelles’ court via Skype.