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I got death threats outside court: Russian rape victim

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 00:20

Panaji: A Russian woman, who has accused Goa politician John Fernandes of raping her, Tuesday alleged that she got death threats outside the district court from his supporters.

"I fear for my life. As I left the court premises after the judge granted the accused, John Fernandes anticipatory bail, his supporters tried to punch me through the window. They also warned that I would meet the fate of Elena Sukhnova," the victim wrote in a letter to the Russian consulate in Mumbai Tuesday night.

Elena Sukhnona was a Russian teenager, whose body was found on the railway tracks earlier this year. While the police have insisted that the death was accidental, the Russian consulate had asked the police to probe the case from a homicidal angle.

The 25-year-old Russian, in her letter, has further alleged that despite her being a victim in the rape case, the police were treating her like a criminal.

"They have not even questioned John yet and I have been asked to give statements day after day for nearly a week," she said. "To my mind, it seems that the police are assisting criminals rather than innocent tourists or citizens," she added.

The victim, who works as a Russian liaison executive at a five star resort in South Goa, had said in her complaint that the accused had raped her in his car, after she was rendered helpless by a spiked drink on the night of Dec 1.

Fernandes, who was untraceable ever since the complaint was filed against him Dec 2, addressed a press conference late Tuesday, few hours after the court granted him anticipatory bail.

Earlier in the day, Fernandes was granted anticipatory bail by district and sessions judge U.V. Bakre. He has been asked to hand over his clothes and the girl`s underwear, which was reportedly left in the car after the incident, to the police for forensic investigation.

Fernandes was not present in court at the time of the hearing. The police were also directed by the court to release him on a bail amount of Rs.30,000 in case he was arrested.

Fernandes is a high-profile politician from south Goa and had unsuccessfully contested the 2007 Goa legislative assembly polls on a ticket of "Save Goa Front", a political outfit floated by Public Works Department Minister Churchill Alemao.


First Published: Wednesday, December 9, 2009 - 00:20
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