Police to relaunch investigation into alleged rape as questions raised

The police will take a second crack at investigating an alleged rape that has shocked the country, after unspecified new information came to light, as questions have been raised about possible holes in the case.

Palestinian Mahmoud Qadusa, 46, from the central West Bank village of Dir Kadis, has been accused of kidnapping and raping a 7-year-old girl in a central West Bank settlement where he worked as a school janitor.

Relying largely on the testimony of the 7-year-old, police have been unable to determine the exact day, week or even month when the alleged rape took place. No other witnesses have come forward, despite the incident allegedly occurring in the middle of the day.

Though prosecutors initially alleged the crime occurred in the suspect’s home, they later changed their claim after Qadusa provided an alibi.

“In order to clarify suspicions about others involved in the crime, and given new information that has been received after the case was publicized, it was decided to task the central unit of the precinct with carrying out additional investigative action,” a police spokesperson says in a statement.

The attorney general will be involved in the case, given its sensitivity.

Qadusa’s lawyer Nashaf Darwish told reporters outside a hearing at the Judea Military Court earlier the prosecution’s version of events “doesn’t add up” and said he was confident that court rulings in the coming days would exonerate his client.

According to Channel 12 news, the new information received by police points to Qadusa being involved in another crime.


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