Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

AFRICA NEWS

Burkina Faso: Govt seeks referendum on presidential term limit

Read more

FOCUS

Indian uranium mines take heavy toll on locals and environment

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Manuel Valls and the 'art of putting one's foot in one's mouth'

Read more

ENCORE!

Paris rediscovers Picasso

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Canada's Coverage of the Ottawa Shootings Put American Cable News to Shame'

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Media response to Ottawa shooting

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

Daniele Balice, Co-founder of the gallery Balice Hertling

Read more

FOCUS

Tunisia: Religious education claims bigger role in curriculum

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Budget tensions heat up in Brussels as EU leaders meet for second day

Read more

Ex-UN employee sentenced for rapes of African girls

Latest update : 2008-09-12

Didier Bourguet, a former UN employee, was sentenced to nine years in jail for the rapes of two girls, aged between 12 and 18, while he was posted in Africa.

A French court on Thursday sentenced a former UN employee to nine years in prison for the rapes of two girls, aged between 12 and 18, while he was posted in Africa between 1998 and 2004.

 
Didier Bourguet, a 44-year-old French national, was employed by the United Nations as a mechanic and posted in the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo during that period.

 
Bourguet, who was responsible for the maintenance of UN peacekeeping vehicles, had been charged with raping about 20 African girls.

 

He was also charged with abuse of minors and possession of pornographic material against him. Together, the charges carried a maximum 20 years in prison.

  
During the trial, Bourguet admitted to having paid for sex with the girls, but he insisted that  they had consented.

  
French state prosecutor Pierre Kramer rejected Bourguet's defence and said he had showed "an absence of compassion for his victims" living in harsh economic conditions.

  
While Bourguet said he did not force the girls to have sex with him, Kramer argued that they were "under duress given their age and the economic context" of their countries.
 
 
Prosecutors told the court that Bourguet sought out girls through go-betweens during his postings in the Central African Republic from 1998 to 2001 and in DR Congo from 2001 to 2004.

  
One of the victims, a Congolese girl now aged 16 and living in Canada, told the court she had been abused after being served a cup of tea that made her dizzy.

  
A police officer testified that Bourguet had engaged in sexual acts with about 24 girls, paying between 10 and 20 dollars (seven to 14 euros) each time.

  
Lawyer Emmanuel Daoud, representing one of the victims, said the case was symbolic. Between 15,000 and 20,000 rapes are committed each year in the DR Congo by soldiers, rebels and, sometimes, UN personnel, he said.

  
DR Congo police arrested Bourguet in the eastern city of Goma in October 2004 and turned him over to French authorities.

Date created : 2008-09-11

COMMENT(S)