Indian national arrested for rape charges in Zimbabwe absolved of all charges by High Court
Denied bail by Harare Magistrate, High Court absolves accused of all charges
The Consultant of ITeamWorks who had been a part of India's touring contingent has been absolved of all charges in his appearance at the Zimbabwe High Court. The accused had been charged with alleged rape of a Harare woman in the hotel.
However, the accused who is linked with one of the sponsors of the series and had been photographed at the post-match ceremony after the 3rd ODI, has been given a clean chit by Justice Mawadze. The accused has been released with immediate effect after the High Court judgement.
Satyanarayana and Ravi Krishnan were both remanded in custody and produced for their bail hearing on Tuesday where Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo had denied bail.
The company statement says : “The High Court Judge at Harare Justice Mawadze, Zimbabwe, after considering merits of the case found no reason to continue to hold the Consultant of ITeamWorks, in custody for an alleged crime, and released him with immediate effect.”
”The accused, being represented by Dumisani Mthombeni and Hon Jonathan Samukange, claimed innocence and judiciary release was based on the support, cooperation and evidence presented by the accused parties.”
The woman who had filed the charges had stated that the accused had invited her to his room and after getting her drunk had forcibly sodomised her. Sources had earlier stated that the victim was seen in the lobby of the Meikles Hotel before been drugged and allegedly abused.
The Zimbabwean media at first wrongfully stated that an unnamed Indian cricketer had been arrested on charges of rape. Earlier the controversy had intensified when it came out that R Masakui, India's ambassador to the African nation, had tried to prevent the law from taking its course by obstructing the arrest of the accused at the Harare hotel on Sunday.
Amidst widespread speculations, Masakui had clarified that the accused was not part of the cricket team. The BCCI had stated : “We are keeping a close watch on the development. It is a serious issue. Being aware of the sensitive nature of the issue, the BCCI won't make comments without ascertaining facts,"
Though the sudden release of the accused and overturn of the bail denial is still not quite clear, based on the company statement, the judgement is sure to satisfy the supporters of the National team as well as the BCCI and Ministry of External Affairs.
Though this comes as a relief, one can only hope that the rape allegation is properly sorted out and the authorities get to the bottom of the controversy without letting cricketing ties and international politics get in the way of social justice.