Libyan soldiers 'raped man in Cambridge after leaving barracks'

image captionAbout 300 Libyan recruits arrived for training at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire in June

Two Libyan soldiers who were training in the UK took turns to rape a man in a Cambridge park after leaving their barracks unsupervised, a court heard.

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33 and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, were stationed at Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire, when the alleged attacks took place in October.

Prosecutor John Farmer told Cambridge Crown Court they were "like two hunting dogs who had seen a wounded animal".

The pair deny rape and aiding and abetting rape.

More than 300 trainees arrived at Bassingbourn in June but were sent home early in November after the allegations came to light.

Up to 2,000 soldiers had been due to undergo basic infantry and junior command training at the barracks under an agreement reached at the 2013 G8 summit.

The scheme was intended to support the Libyan government's efforts to improve the security and stability of the country, following the collapse of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's regime in 2011.

image captionThe Libyan troops were the first of 2,000 to be trained at the barracks near Cambridge

Opening the case, Mr Farmer said the pair met their alleged victim, aged in his 20s and a "complete stranger", in the centre of the city at 03.26 GMT on 26 October.

The victim had left a wedding party after drinking "formidable" amounts of alcohol and was seen on CCTV being led to Christ's Pieces by the defendants.

Mr Farmer said: "He was in no fit state one way or another to consent.

"They behaved like two hunting dogs who had seen a wounded animal.

"They effectively took him over and, initially not using too much force and later more forcefully, kept him going in the direction they wanted him to go."

image copyrightN Chadwick
image captionThe alleged attacks happened on Christ's Pieces in Cambridge city centre

Once at the park, each of the defendants raped the man while the other held him down, the jury was told.

The attacks are said to have taken 38 minutes and the man contacted police to report them minutes after the men fled.

Mr Farmer said the defendants accepted they had sex with the man, but said he consented.

The pair claim the man made up the allegation after stealing money from them, Mr Farmer said.

The trial continues.

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