Brussels youths on trial in Malta for rape and assault of teenagers

Four young men from Brussels are on trial in Malta charged with raping a 17-year-old French girl as well as kidnapping, assaulting and robbing her friend, a 16-year-old Swiss boy, the Maltese press reports. A fifth, aged 17, has been given a suspended prison sentence after admitting his involvement in the attack.

The victim had gone with her friend to a nightclub in the town of Zebbug, where she saw her ex-boyfriend, a 20-year-old Belgian. The man allegedly offered to accompany her home in a taxi at the end of the night as she was drunk, and forced her friend into the vehicle with them. During the ride, he is alleged to have given her more alcohol until she lost consciousness.

The man took her to his apartment in the coastal town of Sliema, where he allegedly raped her while his friends filmed the attack. The other four men also assaulted her friend for several hours.

After the pair were released and reported the attack to police, the five suspects were identified and arrested at the airport as they boarded a plane to return home.

The ex-boyfriend and three others, aged 20, 18 and 17, pleaded not guilty. The fifth, a 17-year-old, admitted grievously assaulting the boy and stealing his phone. He was given a one-year prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a three-year restraining order, and has since returned to Belgium.

The trial is due to continue on Thursday. In the meantime, the other four defendants remain in custody.


A view of Sliema in Malta, where the alleged attack took place © IMAGEBROKER

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