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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...

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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.

Third Libyan soldier admits sex attack in Cambridge

Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire. Credit: ITV News Anglia.

A third Libyan soldier has admitted his part in a series of sex attacks in Cambridge.

Khaled El Azibi, 19, originally denied the charges.

He was one of 300 Libyian soldiers based at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridge up until the end of last year.

El Azibi admitted to two counts of sexual assault at Norwich Crown Court.

Two other soldiers pleaded guilty to the same offences last November.

Ibrahim Naji El Maarfi, 21, also admitted one count of indecent exposure and one of stealing a bike.

Mohammed Abdalsalam, 27, pleaded guilty to a charge of threatening behaviour and stealing a bike, as well as two sexual assaults.

All three will be sentenced on April 27.

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Libyan soldiers in court on Cambridge rape charge

Two Libyan soldiers accused of raping a man while stationed at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire will appear in court today.

Bassingbourn Barracks Credit: ITV News Anglia

Moktar Ali Saad Mahmoud, 33, and Ibrahim Abogutila, 22, were arrested earlier this month over the alleged offence in Cambridge.

They are yet to enter pleas to the charge that they raped a man in his 20s on Christ's Pieces in the city on October 26.

The men were arrested while undergoing training at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire. They will appear at Cambridge Crown Court.

It came after three other Libyan soldiers were charged in connection with unrelated sex offences while also based at Bassingbourn.

The arrests coincided with other concerns over the conduct of Libyan cadets training at the base and prompted the Ministry of Defence to prematurely send 300 soldiers back to their home country.

It threw into doubt an agreement to put 2,000 soldiers through basic infantry and junior command training at Bassingbourn.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said it was reviewing whether Libyans could continue to train in the UK following "disciplinary issues".

The agreement was part of a pledge to support Libya's effort to improve security following the overthrow of Colonel Gaddafi in 2011.

Mahmoud and Abogutila have been remanded in custody.

East Anglian grain loaded for Libya

The MV Fraga is loading at Great Yarmouth Credit: ITV Anglia

More than twenty seven thousand tonnes of barley grown on the region's farms is being shipped to Libya.

The MV Fraga is being loaded in the outer harbour at Great Yarmouth. It will take a thousand truck-loads of grain to fill the hold.

A thousand truck loads of barley are being loaded for Libya Credit: ITV Anglia

The barley will be used as animal feed. It's the biggest single shipment of cereal to leave the region.