Sunday, August 13, 2017

Lawyer of Migrant Who Filmed Facebook Livestream Rape Claims Client ‘Did Not Understand’ It Was Rape

Lawyer of Migrant Who Filmed Facebook Livestream Rape Claims Client ‘Did Not Understand’ It Was Rape

The lawyer for a migrant who filmed the rape of a young girl in Sweden and broadcast it on a Facebook livestream claims his client was not aware his actions were rape.

Andreas Welin, the lawyer for Emil Khodagholi who was convicted earlier this year of defamation for filming the rape of a young Swedish woman and broadcasting the footage on Facebook, made the claim in an effort to have his client’s six-month sentence overturned. Mr Welin says he will take the case to the Swedish supreme court, Dagens Juridik reports.

Mr Welin wrote that the case will attempt to raise “several questions about what actually constitutes an offence, which criteria must be considered to obligate someone to reveal rape.”

He added that his client did not understand at the time that the actions of the other two men, 21-year old Reza Mohammed Ahmadi and 18-year-old Maysam Afshar, were rape. The lawyer also argued that Mr Khodagholi suffers from a mental handicap which could have impaired his ability to properly judge the situation.

The incident, which occurred in January of this year in the Swedish city of Uppsala, made international headlines as the broadcast was actively shared across social media as it happened. The footage eventually led some to call the police who responded and are seen at the end of the footage arresting the men involved.

After the arrest, another young woman came forward, telling Swedish media that she had also been a victim of sexual assault perpetrated by one of the men who she recognised in the video. The 21-year-old Swedish woman said that she had been raped 15 months before the livestream incident while taking a shower in her apartment.

The trio was put on trial earlier this year and received prison sentences between six months and two years, four months.  The two men directly involved in the rape are asylum seekers, while Mr Khodagholi is an Iranian migrant who has been granted Swedish citizenship.

The prosecutor in the case decided not to pursue deportation in the case of the two asylum seekers, who had both come to Sweden as unaccompanied minors.  Defence lawyer Stefan Wallin claimed such actions would have violated the Swedish Aliens Act.

Two months after the Facebook rape incident authorities in Uppsala were made aware of a similar sex attack broadcast on the social media platform Snapchat. Police said they believed the incident also occurred in January in a local hotel, and later arrested one man in connection with the incident.

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