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Accused Libyan soldier says encounter was consensual

Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire Credit: ITV News Anglia

A Libyan soldier accused of raping a man while training in the UK has insisted his alleged victim initiated sexual contact.

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, deny raping, and aiding and abetting the rape, of the man in his 20s on Christ's Pieces in Cambridge last October 26.

Giving evidence today, Abugtila said that he had arrived in the UK in June after joining the Libyan army six months earlier. Before that he had been part of the Libyan High Security Committee which supports the police.

On the night of the alleged attack he had been turned away from a party at a nightclub in the city attended by some fellow Libyan soldiers.

He found himself wandering the city's streets drunk. At about 3.26am, he and Mahmoud struck up a conversation with the alleged victim, who he claims he had met earlier in the night.

Speaking through an Arabic interpreter, Abugtila said: "I told him 'do you want to have sex with me?', he said 'yes'."

Both defendants accept they had sex with the man but say it was consensual.

They say he concocted the story after stealing money from them. The trial is expected to conclude later this week


CCTV footage released of Libyan soldiers accused of rape

CCTV footage of two Libyan men accused of rape allegedly scouring the streets searching for a victim has been released during their trial.

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, deny raping and aiding and abetting the rape of the man in his 20s on Christ's Pieces in Cambridge on October 26.

The pair were arrested while undergoing training at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire as part of an agreement by the British Government to help war-torn Libya after the 2011 collapse of Muammar Gaddafi's regime.

Watch Matthew Hudson's report from court below...

Jury sworn in as trial begins of Libyan soldiers accused of rape

Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A jury has been sworn in for the trial of two Libyan soldiers accused of raping a man while being trained in Britain.

Moktair Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abugtila, 23, allegedly went into Cambridge in the early hours of October 26 last year and raped a 23-year-old British man.

The pair are each accused of one count of rape, one count of aiding and abetting rape and a third charge each of attempted rape against the same victim.

The jury of five men and seven women were sworn in at Cambridge Crown Court on Tuesday.

Both men were among 300 Libyan cadets based at the former RAF base at Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire.

Libyan soldiers on trial over alleged rape in Cambridge

Two Libyan soldiers, who have denied raping a man while stationed in Cambridgeshire, are due to stand trail later.

Bassingbourn Barracks Credit: ITV News Anglia

Moktair Ali Saad Mahmoud (33) and Ibrahim Abugtila (23) were being trained at Bassingbourn Barracks by the British Army when the attack happened on Christ's Pieces in Cambridge last October.

The trial at Cambridge Crown Court is expected to last six days.


MOD was warned of security risks over Libyan soldiers at Bassingbourn

Bassingbourn barracks, Cambridgshire Credit: ITV News Anglia

It's emerged that the Ministry of Defence was warned of security risks surrounding an agreement to train Libyan soldiers at a barracks near Cambridge.

Around 300 soldiers arrived in the UK in June to undergo training at Bassingbourn Barracks, as part of an effort to support Libya's new Government.

But their training was cut short after 5 were charged with sexual assaults and other concerns were raised about the conduct of the cadets.

Libyan soldiers seek asylum

It's emerged a "handful" of Libyan soldiers who were being trained at the Bassingbourn army base in Cambridgeshire have claimed asylum to remain in the UK.

More than 300 troops were sent home after five cadets were charged in connection with a string of sex attacks in Cambridge last month. The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has now confirmed that some of the soldiers have refused to return to Libya, despite the Prime Minister insisting that none should be granted asylum.

Watch below to see Michael Fallon make his announcement in the Commons

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