German rape victim deposes before magistrate

November 1st, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, Nov 1 (IANS) More than a fortnight after a rape complaint was filed with the Goa police, a judicial magistrate Saturday recorded the statement of a minor German girl who has accused the kin of three ministers in the state of having raped her. The deposition was carried out in-camera at the chamber of Mapusa Judicial Magistrate First Class (Senior Division) Bela Naik Saturday afternoon.

The 14-year-old, dressed in faded jeans and a white top, was on her own in the magistrate’s chamber for over an-hour-and-a-half even as her mother and her lawyer waited outside.

Speaking to the media after the deposition, Aires Rodrigues, counsel for the victim’s mother, claimed that the girl was also willing to undergo a medical test as and when the police wanted.

“Now that the victim has given her deposition, we hope the police will expedite the matter. The girl is also willing to undergo a medical examination rightaway, if required,” Rodrigues claimed.

The deposition of the minor girl will now test the police’s claim that they will arrest the main accused, Rohit Monserrate - the 22-year-old son of Goa Education Minister Atanasio Monserrate - only after the victim gives her statement.

Rohit has been missing ever since the complaint was registered and police have maintained that Rohit would be arrested only once the victim gives her statement.

Warren Alemao, the other accused in the case, has already given his statement to police. Warren is the nephew of Churchill Alemao and Joaquim Alemao, both ministers in the Goa cabinet.

While police claim the unwillingness of the girl was one of the main reason why the recording of the statement was delayed, lawyer Rodrigues has blamed sloppy coordination by police.

“There were three occasions, where either the police, the child rights NGO or the child psychiatrist were late. There was absolutely no coordination between the three agencies. We hope this mistake is not repeated again,” Rodrigues said.

Police had booked a rape complaint against Rohit after delaying the process for over 12 days. The case triggered a political crisis in the state, as the two accused are the kin of political heavyweights. Both Monserrate and the Alemaos have demanded a change of chief minister and home minister since the day the complaint was registered.

The Bombay High Court has now taken suo motu cognizance of the case following media reports and has asked police to inform the court about investigations conducted by them in the matter.

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