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Egyptian sports official denies UK sexual assault charge

Ibrahim Khalil, an Egyptian Sports Ministry official, says he was exonerated by British police after being accused of sexual harassment during London Paralympic Games

Ahram Online, Wednesday 12 Sep 2012
Ibrahim Ahmed Khalil
Ibrahim Ahmed Khalil (Photo by Daily Mail newspaper)
Views: 1487
Views: 1487

Egyptian Sports Ministry official Ibrahim Khalil on Wednesday denied reports that he had been convicted of sexual assault during the recently-concluded 2012 Paralympic Games in London, refuting a report to this effect by UK newspaper the Daily Mail.

Earlier Wednesday, the newspaper reported that Khalil had been fined for "groping" a 21-year-old woman's breast. He was subsequently arrested only hours before the Paralympics' closing ceremony, according to the Daily Mail.

Khalil, however, denies this account.

"On the penultimate day of the Paralympics, a woman asked me for a badge bearing the Egyptian flag," Khalil was quoted as saying by Al-Ahram's Arabic-language sports website. "I gave it to her, but then she asked me for money, prompting me to berate her."

"She consequently called the police and accused me of sexually assaulting her daughter," he added. "I argued with the police because I hadn't done anything, but they took me into custody, where I asked them to check the hotel’s surveillance cameras, which proved my innocence."

"I was only fined for insulting the woman and arguing with police," Khalil concluded. "If I had been convicted of sexual assault, the UK authorities would not have allowed me to come back to Egypt."

The Egyptian embassy in London, for its part, has declined to comment on the issue, saying merely that it would send a report to the Egyptian Sports Ministry detailing the incident.

Egypt's Paralympians, who won 15 Paralympic medals (four gold, four silver and seven bronze), were welcomed home by hundreds of supporters when they arrived at Cairo International Airport on Monday evening.

Egypt finished 28th out of 74 countries that sent athletes to compete in the event.

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Will Gant
12-09-2012 11:03pm
I am the journalist whose copy was used by the Daily Mail, and I find this denial breathtaking. I watched Khalil plead guilty to a charge of sexual assault (there is no crime of "insult" in England, nor of "aruing with the police"). His lawyer then went on to mitigate on his behalf, saying he felt ashamed of his actions. If you don't want to take my word for it then ring up City of London Magistrates' Court on +442031263282 and they'll confirm his conviction to you.
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