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French diplomat charged

Bangalore, Sept. 17: The French diplomat accused of raping his three-year-old daughter was charge-sheeted today, clearing the way for his trial.

The chargesheet against Pascal Mazurier came almost three months after his arrest following a complaint by his Indian wife.

The filing of charges in the trial court prompted Karnataka High Court to adjourn the hearing of a bail plea by the diplomat to September 21.

The attaché at the consulate-general of France here has been charged under Section IPC 376 (2F), which deals with the rape of a minor.

“The police have charged (Pascal) Mauzurier under Section 376 of the IPC Indian Penal Code for raping his minor daughter,” DCP (central) Ravikante Gowda said.

Pascal was arrested on June 19 after a complaint filed by his wife Suja Jones, who hails from Kerala but had met the diplomat in Calcutta and married him over a decade ago.

Pascal had earlier approached the trial court for bail, arguing that the DNA test conducted soon after his arrest did not match with his daughter’s profile. But the fast-track court had concluded that a mismatch in the DNA findings did not prove him innocent.

Suja was not in the trial court when the chargesheet was filed today. She and her two children have been living at an undisclosed location since the case was filed in June.

The couple had met in 2000 when Suja was working at a travel agency in Calcutta while Pascal was a junior consular official in the eastern city. They got married a year later in France. While Suja continues to be an Indian passport holder, the children are French nationals.

In her complaint, Suja had alleged that the little girl was raped on several occasions but she had to keep quiet fearing retribution. Under severe trauma, she went through counselling at a local hospital where the counsellors persuaded her to stand up against her husband.