Chef who spent two years in jail cleared of Hong Kong rape after accuser stops testifying midway through trial for second time
- Alleged incident said to have taken place in November 2016
- First trial also collapsed after woman complained of feeling ill while giving evidence
A chef who spent two years in jail after being accused of raping a woman he met on social media was acquitted in a Hong Kong court on Monday.
Mustafa Akkoyun was released at the High Court after his accuser, a tourist from the southwestern Chinese province of Sichuan, stopped testifying mid-trial because of health problems.
It was the second trial Akkoyun had faced, with the first finishing in similar circumstances.
The woman had accused the Turkish national of attacking her at a Tsim Sha Tsui hostel in 2016. However, Akkoyun denied having any physical contact with the woman, who was referred to as X in court, other than patting her on the shoulder.
The first trial took place in March, but was stopped after X complained of feeling ill while giving evidence. The second trial began in November, but was stopped again last week, and prosecutors decided not to proceed any further.
During the trial, prosecutors said the attack had occurred at a hostel in Chungking Mansions, shortly after X was discharged from hospital after drinking too much on November 15.
Prosecutor Neil Mitchell said after X returned to the guest house that day, she got a text message on WeChat from the accused, who was on a work visa at the time, saying he would like to visit her.
Despite feeling unwell, she allowed him to come over on the understanding he would only stay for a 20-minute chat, the prosecutor said.
But, following the conversation, after which X said she fell asleep, the woman alleged she woke up to find the defendant next to her in bed, Mitchell said. The prosecutor alleged Akkoyun then raped her.
Prosecutors said X reported the incident to police as soon as Akkoyun left the room, leading to his arrest and detention.
The chef denied raping her and Madam Justice Susana D’Almada Remedios had to acquit Akkoyun, after the prosecutors said on Monday they were no longer pursuing the case.
“I am not coming to any conclusion,” Remedios said. “But for your own sake, you should be very careful if... you to meet people [this] way.”