Panaji: South Goa-based politician John
Fernandes, accused of raping a Russian woman, was on Friday
granted bail by a local court a year after he was arrested.
A district and sessions court granted bail to
Fernandes on four sureties of Rs 50,000 each.
"He has been asked not to interfere with the
investigation and has to appear before the investigating
agencies as and when called," Fernandes` counsel Amit Palekar said.
The 25-year-old Russian, employed with a five-star
resort, had accused Fernandes of spiking her drink at a beach
shack in Colva village on December 1, 2009 before raping her
in his car.
The case initially registered with Colva police was
later transferred to the Crime Branch after the Russian
Consulate and the victim alleged tardy investigations.
Fernandes, who had unsuccessfully fought Goa
legislative assembly election in 2006 on a Save Goa Front
Party ticket, evaded arrest after the case was registered
against him. He surrendered before the Goa Crime Branch on
January 6, 2010 after the Supreme Court too refused to grant
him anticipatory bail.
The case had taken different turns during the trial
with another Russian girl, who was accompanying the victim on
the fateful night, claimed that the complaint was false.
Fernandes remained in judicial custody for almost a
year as the victim went to Russia for a few months without
deposing before the court.