French diplomat Pascal Mazurier was acquitted by a Bengaluru sessions court on 19 April, five years after he was accused of raping his then three-and-a-half year old daughter.
The sessions court judge said that there was no evidence to convict Pascal in the case, The News Minute reported.
Mazurier was the deputy head of chancery at the French Consulate in Bengaluru when he was arrested on 15 June 2012, days after his former wife Suja Jones registered a complaint against him.
His estranged wife, Suja Jones, told CNN-News18 that she would fight for justice for her daughter.
Suja JonesI’m unhappy and my daughter is going to be very unhappy and we are going to challenge this verdict further. He (Mazurier) is going to try everything possible. In the last five years, I’ve seen a side of him, that i haven’t seen his before. His acquittal means my daughter did not get justice.
She told the channel that her “duty as a mother”would now take over. She said she would protect her children and ensure that he had no access to them.
On the other hand, Mazurier told reporters after the verdict that he was betrayed by his former wife. He was quoted as saying:
It has been a long battle, but I am happy that justice has been done… When you understand that you are being betrayed by your wife, you are under immense trauma. God gave me the strength to fight.
Though his DNA was found on all four cloth samples of his daughter (that were submitted as evidence) Mazurier was acquitted by the court as his sperm was not found on the vaginal swabs of his daughter.
On 14 June 2012, Suja filed a police complaint against Mazurier after the Collaborative Child Response Unit (CCRU) of the Baptist Hospital confirmed that the child had been raped. Pascal was interrogated and let off after questioning later that day.
Though India and France are signatories to the Vienna convention, that states that a diplomat can neither be arrested or detained, the Ministry of External Affairs informed the police that the same would not apply to Mazurier, leading to his re-arrest on 19 June.
He was granted bail in October that year, after furnishing a bond of Rs 1,00,000.
“He had to suffer with the indignation of the claim for five years. this verdict is a victory of Pascal, but the verdict will be appealed and the case will go to the high court,” Mazurier’s lawyer said after Wednesday’s judgement.
(With inputs from The News Minute)