Four illegal immigrants who were involved in a gang rape, with one of them found guilty of raping Natasha Farrugia, were sentenced between them to 25 years in jail yesterday.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The case occurred in Marsa on 19 March, 2007 at about 3am. Three of the guilty are from Somalia, the other is from Sudan.
Mr Justice Michael Mallia, who heard the trial behind closed doors, sentenced Mohammed Ali Hasan, 31, to 11 years in jail for the rape, saying there was no doubt he had committed the offence, as forensic tests had found his blood and seminal fluid on his victim. The other three were found guilty of involvement.
Abuker Ahmed Abdilrahman, 22, was given five years in jail after he was found guilty of grabbing Farrugia from the room where she was sleeping, and taking her outside. He was also found guilty of an indecent attempt against her, and of violence against an immigrant, Hakim, in whose room she was sleeping.
Omar Osman Omar, 31, was given four years with the court saying his case was more difficult because Farrugia had said he had taken part in the rape. But the victim was blind drunk and may have recognised him when he carried her. There was doubt about the rape, with the victim herself saying she was not looking at the person raping her.
Anwar Otman Hasan, 31, of Sudan, was sent down for four years. He was found to have blood and seminal fluid on him, but there was no proof that could lead to proof of rape as the seminal fluid was found on his shoe.
Mr Justice Mallia said there was no doubt that another person had committed rape on Farrugia, and as she had been raped three times, there could have been another person who committed the crime. It was not proved that Omar Osman Omar was an accomplice. But he was found to have helped the others take the woman outside and had the intention of doing something against her will. He was also found guilty of relapsing.
The evidence showed that Omar had taken the woman out from the room, but he was later seen going in the opposite direction. But he was guilty of taking her out forcefully, attempting an indecent assault on her, and holding her against her will.
On the evening preceding the rape, Hakim and Natasha Farrugia were at Diana’s Kiosk in Valletta, where they were drinking beer, till about 8pm.
Farrugia had toothache and needed to buy painkillers but could not find a retail outlet which had them. Hakim offered to take her to the open centre at Marsa. In the meantime Farrugia bought the painkillers and they went to Tiger Bar in Marsa, where they started drinking again. The bar was heavily patronised and one of the accused, Anwar, asked who she was. Other patrons bought her drinks. Hakim urged her to leave with him but she wanted to stay, and in fact did so until the bar closed at about 3am.
Farrugia had had a lot of beer and had no money, and Hakim offered that she sleep in his room at the open centre. They went to the room, and he went out so that she would sleep. Three men approached him – the accused Abuker, who had a bottle of wine, Hasan who carried a knife in his hand, and another man.
Hakim was frightened, especially after Abuker asked for the man who had been dancing with Farrugia. Hakim replied that that man was not there, but Abuker insisted that when he was done with her, it would be their turn to go with her. Hakim told them to leave her alone, she was not a prostitute and left to ask for the assistance of the soldier on duty at the open centre.
Dr Philip Galea Farrugia and Dr Giannella Busuttil prosecuted. Dr Malcolm Mifsud, Dr Simon Micallef Stafrace and Dr Kris Scicluna were defence counsel.