Sexual assault retrial for former Halifax cab driver adjourned for 3 months
Bassam Al-Rawi's previous acquittal led to national outcry
The retrial of a former Halifax cab driver charged with sexually assaulting a passenger was adjourned Friday after audio issues with translation.
Bassam Al-Rawi has understood all the evidence presented in English so far. But because of the more complicated nature of the DNA evidence being presented on Friday, he requested translation.
The case resumed Friday morning in provincial court in Halifax with testimony from a DNA expert.
Martin Westecott is an expert in analyzing bodily fluids. He is testifying for the prosecution.
The case is now scheduled to resume April 15 with Westecott's testimony.
The complainant told the court this week she was severely intoxicated and remembers little of what happened early in the morning of May 22, 2015, when an officer found her unconscious and half-naked in the back seat of Al-Rawi's cab.
The woman's identity is protected by the court.
On Thursday, Al-Rawi's defence lawyer suggested the complainant may have initiated sex with the accused.
Al-Rawi was acquitted at his first trial in March 2017. That acquittal provoked a national outcry, including street protests and complaints about the conduct of the trial judge, after he said in his ruling that "clearly, a drunk can consent."
The Crown appealed Al-Rawi's acquittal and the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal subsequently ordered a new trial, citing errors the first judge made in law, including ignoring an ample amount of circumstantial evidence.
The CBC's Blair Rhodes live blogged from court. Mobile users can read here.