Minister for groping: Egyptian politician in Paralympics delegation fondled woman...then tried to claim immunity
رئيس البعثة ابراهيم خليل مذنب بالإعتداء الجنسي على فتاه اثناء الدورة الاوليمبية بلندن
Embrahim Khalil, pictured leaving City of London Magistrates, sexually assaulted a tourist
An Egyptian sports minister tried to claim diplomatic immunity after being arrested for groping a tourist while in London with his country’s Paralympic delegation.
Ebrahim Ahmed Khalil, 56, fondled the 21-year-old’s breast as he showed her where to pin a flag badge hours before Sunday’s closing ceremony.
After he was arrested and accused of sexual assault, his embassy tried to claim diplomatic immunity. But the attempt failed and Khalil wept yesterday as he was fined by magistrates.
The case is an embarrassment for the Arab state, whose athletes returned to Cairo on Monday with 15 medals.
The assault took place hours before they joined other Paralympians for Sunday’s closing ceremony at the Olympic Park.
Khalil, the junior minister for sport, targeted the woman outside the luxury Grange St Paul’s hotel in the City, where he had been staying for the Olympics and Paralympics.
The hotel was one of two official ‘Paralympic family hotels’ used by officials during the Games.
His victim was with her mother and ten-year-old brother on their way to the Tate Modern as he stopped them while handing out Egyptian flag badges. Images from three CCTV cameras showed him approaching them and kissing the victim’s mother.
Regina Naughton, prosecuting at City of London Magistrates’ Court, described the kiss as ‘friendly’ but said Khalil’s actions then became sinister.
She said: ‘Mr Khalil approached the complainant, pointed his right index finger, and pressed it on her right breast. She withdraws, her mother says, 'What is it?'
'Then he more or less does the same thing again, placing his left hand and arm around her right shoulder and again pressing her breast, she says forcibly. She felt shocked, embarrassed, violated and upset.'
The court heard that his victim did not want to report what happened but her mother insisted.
Khalil was arrested in the hotel and spent two days in custody before appearing in court. He told officers he had been due to attend the Paralympics closing ceremony that evening.
Miss Naughton said: ‘He told police he poked the girl’s breast to tell her where she should put the badge. He said he didn’t really understand what he had done wrong, but wanted to apologise because she was upset with him.’
Competing: Ibrahim Ibrahim of Egypt takes part in the Men's Javelin at the Olympic Stadium during the London Paralympic Games
Hearing: City of London Magistrates' Court was told the assault took place hours before the Egyptian team joined other Paralympians for Sunday's closing ceremony
Earlier, magistrates were asked to delay the hearing. Miss Naughton said: ‘The issue is whether or not he has diplomatic immunity. I say, on the information I have, that he doesn’t.
Khalil, who listened to proceedings through an interpreter and was dressed in a jumper from police stores, admitted a single count of sexual assault.
Sam Corcoran, defending, said the father of three had ‘an absolutely exemplary record and this is the first time he has been in any kind of trouble’. She added: ‘He has asked me if I would convey his sincere remorse. He is so very desperately sorry.’
Magistrate Sarah Graham said the court accepted his apology ‘on the basis that it is a one-off error of judgment’ and ordered him to pay a £160 fine, £100 costs, £100 compensation to the woman, and a £15 victim surcharge. Embassy officials will pay on his behalf.