9 Mar 2009

Former taxi driver accused of raping passenger

8:10 pm on 9 March 2009

The retrial of a former taxi driver accused of raping a passenger has begun in Wellington District Court.

Abdirazak Mussa, 56, is facing two charges of rape and one of abduction.

In its opening address on Monday, the Crown said that in September 2006 Mr Mussa had taken the passenger to his home, deadlocked the door to prevent her escape and then raped her twice.

The Crown said during a police interview the accused claimed the sex was consensual and he used two condoms because he was HIV-positive.

However, the defence said the woman's rape allegations were false.

The defence said it was also easy for sympathy and prejudice to be generated when such allegations were made by a New Zealand woman against a refugee Muslim who is HIV-positive.

Judge Bruce Davidson told the jury that it was a re-trial for Mr Mussa but they should concentrate solely on the evidence presented in court and must not do any private research on the case themselves.

The trial is expected to last a week.