Rape victim kept abuse a secret for eight months due to cultural taboo, court told

The alleged rapist offered his victim to stay in his apartment after finding her a job as a cleaner

Aftab Prince stands accused of raping his victim, also of Pakistani nationality, over a period of 8 months
Aftab Prince stands accused of raping his victim, also of Pakistani nationality, over a period of 8 months

A court is set to decide in June whether or not to grant bail to a local Pakistani community leader who is accused of the repeated rape of a member of his community.

This afternoon before magistrate Caroline Farrugia Frendo, Police Inspector Joseph Busuttil testified to the events which led to the arrest of Aftab Prince, a 36-year-old nurse.

On May 17, a report was received by the Birzebbugia police station about the case, he said. The alleged victim, a Pakistani woman, had come forward and told the police about the abuse which had occurred over a span of some eight months. She had come to Malta several months prior to the start of the alleged abuse after having paid the accused for finding her a job in Malta as a cleaner, the woman had told officers. 

Prince had organised a small welcome party with the local Pakistani community, said the inspector, after which he took the woman to his apartment and offered to accommodate her there.

After this, they met on several other occasions and had sex a number of times, said the inspector. The sex was non-consensual, the woman told the police.

The woman was afraid of speaking out at first, due to the fact that in Pakistan, sex before marriage was a taboo, explained the inspector. But after speaking to several psychiatric professionals, she was directed to contact the police. The woman had also spoken to a lawyer, he said.

The court announced that it would pronounce itself on bail after the victim testifies via video-conferencing in June.

Lawyers Franco Debono and Amadeus Cachia are defence counsel.

Lawyer Alfred Abela appeared as parte civile for the woman.

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