Posts Tagged ‘Delhi rapists’

Swedish appeals court frees 6 of gang rape: Another case of when the law is an ass

October 2, 2013

Swedish rape law is an ass in many ways. Prosecutions are often brought or sought even in trivial and ridiculous cases (as in the case of Julian Assange for example). But real rapists generally go free. And apparently even in a case of gang rape ( 6 of them) where a teenage girl was raped and the rapists found guilty, they are set free by a higher court “because she was not sufficiently incapacitated”! 

Of course even with asinine laws it needs a judge to confirm and compound the law’s failings. According to the judge who released the rapists “The intercourse that took place can very well have happened against her stated will but if it didn’t take advantage of an incapacitated state it’s not rape.”

The rapists were all apparently immigrants. So was their victim it seems.

I wonder if that had any part to play in the judge’s determination?

The Local:  … six teenage boys were cleared by an appeals court of the alleged gang rape of a 15-year-old, ….

The boys admitted to having sexual intercourse with the girl at a party in Tensta, northern Stockholm, in March this year. Five were convicted of aggravated rape by the Solna District Court later that month. The sixth boy, who had given out condoms to the other boys, was convicted of attempted aggravated rape.

Sweden’s sex-crime legislation was amended on July 1st of this year, however, and included a rewrite of the term “incapacitated state” to “particularly vulnerable situation”, which in effect re-classifies certain types of sexual assault as rape.

But the Svea Court of Appeal (Svea hovrätt) ruled according to the old law as it was phrased prior to July 1st, 2013, arguing it was the law that applied at the time of the incident. In its ruling, the court found that the girl could not have been deemed to be in an “incapacitated state,” although it did recognize that she was in a vulnerable situation.

“She could have very well said no, but even if that was the case, that doesn’t automatically mean it’s rape,” judge Sven Jönsson told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

“The intercourse that took place can very well have happened against her stated will but if it didn’t take advantage of an incapacitated state it’s not rape.”

… “I said no,” the victim told the Aftonbladet newspaper over the weekend, saying she no longer went out but only spent time with her closest friends. “Do they mean it’s my fault?” 

With this kind of law the Delhi rapists could have been convicted of murder but not of rape. And the four surviving adult rapists received the death sentence because it was considered a particularly heinous crime. Without the rape conviction they would have escaped that sentence.

Publicity-hungry lawyers now flocking to defend the Delhi rapists

January 10, 2013

Just a few days ago no lawyer wanted to defend the Delhi six.

But it has not taken long for the worst aspects of human behaviour to again come to the fore. Now some among the lawyers have seen how much free publicity this can bring and that they will not have many such opportunities. They are flocking like vultures to the defence of the Delhi rapists. One of them – a certain ML Sharma –  has also seen the benefit of being as provocative and outrageous as possible and has today claimed that

  1. the victim brought the rape on herself (“I have never seen a respected lady who brought rape on to herself)“!!!
  2. the prisoners are being tortured to confess

AP Singh and VK Anand are the other two lawyers who have presented themselves for the defendants. I am not sure that these lawyers will bring much competence to bear, but they will surely make the most outrageous claims and demands – and that too extremely loudly – so that they at least remain in the public eye. They have no doubt been encouraged when observing how politicians and religious leaders gain a huge amount of publicity by attacking the victim. The defendants cannot be served by more bad publicity (not that it can get much worse) but their lawyers have nothing to lose and everything to gain:

First Post: It seems to be raining lawyers for the Delhi gang-rape accused. Three lawyers have told reporters on Thursday that they will be representing four of the five accused in the case. ML Sharma, a Supreme Court lawyer, told media persons that he will be representing Mukesh, brother of main accused, Ram Singh. Explaining how he became involved in the case, he said, “I have been interested in this case from the very first day. About eight days ago, I got a call from an unknown person and he said ‘Baccho ko bachao’ (save the boys). However, I remained undecided. And it was on January 7 (on the day accused where to be produced before the court), I decided to take up their case.” …. 

…..  Sharma, a member of the Maharashtra Bar Council, says he has been practicing in the Supreme Court since 1990. Asked about some of the cases he has fought, Sharma mentions the PIL enquiring into the assets of former Chief Justice of India (CJI) KG Balakrishnan and another PIL in the Vodafone tax case that claimed that the then sitting CJI SH Kapadia had a conflict of interest in the case. Not only did the apex court dismiss Sharma’s petition in the Vodafone PIL but also fined him Rs 50,000 for it.

Another Supreme Court lawyer, AP Singh told reporters that he was representing two of the accused — Akshay Thakur and Vinay Sharma. Recounting how he came to be involved in the case, Singh said: “The family members of both the accused — Akshay Kumar and Vinay Sharma – met us. This was on 5-6 January. But at the time of the first meeting, I refused to take their case because it was a highlighted case and a number of public persons were protesting against it. The family member of accused contacted my mother again on 6-7 January. And it is not possible for me refuse the order of my mother.”

….. The loudest of the three lawyers is VK Anand, who had created a ruckus in the courtroom on Monday after getting into a heated argument with another lawyer. Anand told reporters that he was representing the main accused Ram Singh.

The advocates told reporters that the next hearing in the case will be on 14 January.

One IndiaML Sharma told Bloomberg that the 23-year-old paramedical student’s friend was “wholly responsible” for the savage attack on her. “Until today I have not seen a single incident or example of rape with a respected lady. Even an underworld don would not like to touch a girl with respect,” Sharma said. While making the above statement, the lawyer surprisingly did not even pause to think that he was casting aspersions on the victim. In his professional capacity, he might be entitled to claim that his clients are innocent. However, Sharma cannot be unaware that it is unethical to defame the deceased.

The lawyer was more in his elements when he alleged that the accused had been subjected to brutality. AFP quoted Sharma as saying that “All the accused have been badly beaten by the police and they have used the third degree to extract the statement that suits the evidence they have collected.” He even claimed: “My clients have been forced to confess to crimes that they did not commit.” He was referring to the five men who have been charged with not only raping the paramedical student in a moving bus but also brutally attacking her with a rod on that fateful night. The victim succumbed to her injuries at a Singapore hospital on Dec 29, 2012. 

The Journal:  Speaking to AFP on Thursday, Sharma said he would prove that his clients were not responsible for the attack on December 16 and he denied having tried to blame the victim. …

“I did speak to Bloomberg but did not say anything about the victim. I only told them that women are respected in India, they are mothers, sisters, friends but tell me which country respects a prostitute.”

Asked if that meant that he regarded the victim as a prostitute, Sharma replied: “No, not at all but I have to protect my clients and prove that they did not commit this heinous crime.”

I can’t help thinking that in this case court-appointed lawyers for the defense is called for. These almost self-appointed, publicity seeking lawyers are likely to only bring the court procedures into disrepute.

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