The closed-door trial of a 34-year old man detained on rape charges since January began at the criminal court on Monday.
Local media identified the defendant, Hassan Faiz from Thinadhoo island in Gaaf Dhaal atoll, as the brother of MP Ahmed Nihan, parliamentary group leader of the ruling party.
The 18-year old victim alleged she was raped and offered hush money by her attacker, who claimed nothing would happen to him because of his political connections even if she reported it to police.
The girl received treatment at the time and her medical reports were handed over to police.
In an interview with Raajje MV, Faiz denied the accusation. He faces a penalty of 15 to 20 years in prison if found guilty.
Separately, ten people from Dhuvaafaru island in Raa atoll are standing trial for the gang rape of a 25-year old woman in January.
Five suspects, including a minor, were initially arrested. A woman was later charged with being an accomplice while four others were charged with producing pornography.
The woman faces up to 10 years in prison while the pornography charge carries a sentence of up to three years. The minor will be tried in juvenile court.
Preliminary hearings for nine suspects were scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon.
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Source URL: Maldives Independent