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Man who married his rape victim spared trial despite law change

Scrapped Article 308 applies to case, Cassation Court rules

By Rana Husseini - Jan 14,2018 - Last updated at Jan 14,2018

AMMAN — The Court of Cassation on Sunday upheld a recent Criminal Court ruling to stop the legal prosecution of a man who married his sexually assaulted victim in 2016 as stipulated in the cancelled Article 308 of the Penal Code.

The defendant was being tried at the Criminal Court on charges of molesting a woman seven times in October 2016.

However, the defendant married the victim during the trial, which secured him a case dismissal by the court on condition that he remains married to the woman for five years.

The general attorney at the Criminal Court Jihad Dureidi had decided to appeal the verdict, asking the higher court to overturn it and to hand the defendant the maximum punishment. He referred to the fact that Article 308 had been abolished in August by the Parliament and upheld by a Royal decree, a senior judicial source said.

“Dureidi attempted to secure the maximum punishment since the law was abolished, but the higher court ruled that the new law came into effect on October 29, 2017, after it was published in the official Gazette,” the judicial source told The Jordan Times.

The controversial Article 308 was abolished following a recommendation by a Royal committee and the endorsement of the government before the Parliament voted for cancellation in August.

 

Article 308 has been heavily criticised by women and rights activists, as it allows sexual assault perpetrators to avoid punishment if they marry their victims, provided that they remain married for three to five years, depending on the nature of the sexual assault.

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