The Malta Independent 16 August 2018, Thursday

Eritrean denies raping French woman in Paceville, bail not requested

Thursday, 24 May 2018, 16:30 Last update: about 4 months ago

A man from Eritrea has pleaded not guilty to raping a French woman in Paceville on Wednesday night.

27 year-old Eyob Melake Ecobagaber appeared in the dock before magistrate Charmaine Galea this morning wearing a white boiler suit, his clothes having been taken away for DNA analysis.

Senior Police Inspector Nikolai Sant accused Ecobagaber of “engaging in non-consensual sex” with the woman, detaining her against her will, slightly injuring her, recidivism and committing an offence during the operative period of a conditional discharge which he had received for cannabis possession earlier this month.

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The man was apprehended after police found the woman crying in the carpark of what used to be the Axis discotheque, late last night. She gave the police a description of her assailant, saying she had bitten him on the face to defend herself. The accused was later spotted and tried to escape police before being taken into custody. The victim identified her assailant at the police station.

Ecobagaber, who is unemployed and has no fixed address, was represented by lawyer Joseph Ellis as legal aid and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Bail was not requested.

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