US & Canada

Canada radio host Jian Ghomeshi's sex assault trial begins

Jian Ghomeshi. Photo: 1 February 2016 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jian Ghomeshi denies all the charges, saying his actions were consensual rough sex

Canada's former popular radio host Jian Ghomeshi has gone on trial on charges of sexual assault and choking.

The charges were laid in 2014 after a number of women complained to Toronto police that Mr Ghomeshi had been physically violent towards them.

He denies all the charges, saying his actions were consensual rough sex.

If convicted, the 48-year-old - who was sacked by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) in 2014 - could be sent to prison for life.

At CBC he hosted the popular arts show Q.

'Graphic evidence'

A crowd of reporters and onlookers met Mr Ghomeshi as he arrived at court in Toronto on Monday.

He faces four counts of sexual assault and one count of choking.

A number of women earlier accused him of punching, strangling and battering, and three of the alleged victims later became plaintiffs in the case.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Reporters - as well as spectators - met Jian Ghomeshi (centre) as he arrived in court

Throughout the investigation, he denied the allegations and later pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

The CBC began an inquiry into Mr Ghomeshi's sexual activities after Canada's Toronto Star newspaper began investigating allegations by an ex-girlfriend that he had engaged in non-consensual, violent sex with her.

After being shown "graphic evidence" that Mr Ghomeshi had physically injured a woman, the broadcaster fired him in 2014.

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