Former French consular official acquitted of daughter's rape

Former French consular official acquitted of daughter's rape

Special court clears Pascal Mazurier citing lack of evidence

Former French consular official acquitted of daughter's rape
After almost five years, former French consular official Pascal Mazurier (44) has been acquitted of raping his three-year-old daughter on the grounds of lack of evidence. The judgment was delivered by a special sessions court here on Wednesday.

Mazurier, then head of chancery in the Consulate of France in Bengaluru, was arrested on June 19, 2012, on the basis of a complaint filed by his wife, Suja Jones Mazurier.

“The broad grounds would be that the entire case is highly improbable in the manner in which it is alleged and no father can do it to his child at that tender age. Apart from that, the medical evidence does not even remotely point out anything suggestive of him to have committed the crime,” his lawyer B Mahesh told Deccan Herald.

None of the over 26 witnesses examined by the court was related to the prosecution’s case, the senior counsel said. All the statements recorded, including that of the child, are general in nature and there is basically nothing in particular pointing to the offence. The entire process took five years and no one should abuse the law to implicate an innocent person, he added.

‘Eager to meet my kid’
Mazurier was elated at the verdict. “It’s been a long battle and I am very happy about the verdict. To meet my daughter again is what kept me going,” he told journalists. “She is going to be nine, and all these years I don’t know what the mother had told her.”

Though he looked relieved, he said he was upset that it took him almost five years to get justice as three judges were changed during the course of the trial.

Wife to go in for appeal
Suja Jones Mazurier, through her counsel, confirmed that she is going to challenge the verdict in a higher court. “My daughter has been denied justice,” she said.

Suja had filed the complaint at the jurisdictional High Grounds police station, saying she got to know about the incident through her maid. The case drew widespread media attention and resulted in Mazurier’s suspension from the consulate. He was arrested and lodged in the central prison at Parappana Agrahara after the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that he did not enjoy any diplomatic immunity. He was later released on bail by the High Court of Karnataka on the grounds that the forensic report did not prima facie indicate rape.