Cambridgeshire

Libyan soldiers accused of rape were 'animals' says victim

Bassingbourn Barracks
Image caption The MoD had given assurances cadets would not be allowed off the base unescorted

A man who said he was raped in a park by two Libyan soldiers training in the UK told police they were "animals" who "held me down", a court has heard.

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33 and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, were stationed at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, when the attacks took place in October.

Police interviews with the alleged victim were played to the jury at Cambridge Crown Court.

The defendants deny rape and aiding and abetting rape in a Cambridge park.

Image caption The Libyan troops were the first of 2,000 due to be trained at the barracks

The rapes are said to have taken 38 minutes and the alleged victim rang the police within minutes of the soldiers' departure from Christ's Pieces in Cambridge.

In video footage recorded at the scene, the court heard the man tell officers had been targeted and raped by "some random guys" who did not speak English.

In a later interview with the police, the jury heard him describe the defendants as "animals".

"I was fighting really hard... then his other mate tried to beat me up," he said.

The court was told the pair met the "complete stranger", in his 20s, in Cambridge at 03.26 GMT on 26 October.

Image copyright N Chadwick
Image caption The man was walking through Cambridge city centre alone

He had left a wedding party after drinking "formidable" amounts of alcohol and was seen on CCTV being led to Christ's Pieces by the defendants.

Prosecutor John Farmer told the jury the defendants accepted they had sex with the man, but said he consented, and claim he made up the allegation after stealing money from them.

More than 300 trainees training at Bassingbourn were sent home early after the allegations came to light.

Up to 2,000 soldiers had been due to undergo basic infantry and junior command training at the barracks under an agreement reached at the 2013 G8 summit.

The scheme was intended to support the Libyan government's efforts to improve the stability of the country, following the collapse of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.

The trial continues.

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