Cops accused of sex crimes to challenge charges

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The committal hearing for two policemen accused of sex crimes, including rape and buggery, has been adjourned yet again, but this time, it is to allow the accused, through their lawyers, to file a no case submission.

The prosecution has also been given time to respond, and Magistrate Conliffe Clarke has set September 12 as the new date for the committal, since he will be on vacation in August and would need time to review the submissions before the hearing date.

 Sources close to the case said it had been set for committal this week, but when it came up, several issues were raised, while the defence also asked for more time to prepare the no case submission aimed at getting the matter dismissed.

Another issue that arose was that some of the evidence listed in the case file as exhibits had not been submitted to the court due to administrative issues, and the prosecution initially said it would remove them from the list but reinstate them later as long as the matter is sent to the High Court for trial.

While waiting for the committal, the two accused cops are to remain on bail.

It is alleged that the two junior ranking officers and their female victim had planned to go out together, along with another female on May 12, 2017. While they were en route, one of the females allegedly said she could no longer go and was allowed to exit the vehicle in which they were all travelling.

The victim remained with the officers who were known to her and who were part of a WhatsApp socialisation group through which they planned to meet.

The young woman alleges that the officers struck her in the face, brandished a gun and threatened to kill her during the assault and after if she reported the matter to the police or anyone else.

The assault allegedly took place in the back of a car near a nightclub. The woman eventually made a report to police a few days after the incident and a medical examination was done, the results of which are to form part of the evidence in the case.

The officers were only charged last August. Initially, they were on remand but they later obtained bail from the High Court. The case was first sent to Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh who later recused herself, resulting in it being sent to Magistrate Conliffe Clarke.

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