Update: Spanish Judge Return Passports of Two Vietnamese Artists Accused of Rape

Almost a month and a half after being accused of raping a 17-year-old girl and privacy violation, two tourists of Vietnamese nationality have returned from Mallorca to Vietnam.

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The Palma Examining Court investigating the alleged rape of a 17-year-old girl in a hotel in Andratx, the suspects are two famous aritists from Vietnam at the end of June, decided on August 3 to return their passports.

The Ultima Hora newspaper, the best-selling newspaper in the Balearic Islands, reported on August 7 that the two artists have already returned to their country of origin. Both refused to testify at the time when they were arrested before the judge on duty, who released them, but on the condition that they could not leave Mallorca.

The news announced on the case since the end of June by Ultima Hora and many international press agencies caused a great impact due to the identity of those investigated.

Screenshot of the Ultima Hora newspaper
Screenshot of the Ultima Hora newspaper

No extra data was reported in regard to the conclusions drawn by investigators or the courtroom. Before the court’s decision on August 3, according to guidelines posted on the website of the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office, the investigations and trials of sexual assault cases in Spain can take years, depending on the complexity. In particular, the case can be closed if the victim dismisses the complaint. If convicted, the defendant could face a maximum sentence of 15 years behind bars.

According to the descriptions of Spanish media, the two defendants, aged 27 and 42, were celebrities in Vietnam.

Based on the report of native legislation enforcement, the 2 Vietnamese residents had been staying at the Sant Elm resort in Mallorca, whereas the alleged victim and her household stayed some other place. On the night of June 24, she met and struck up a dialog with two Vietnamese males at a restaurant, then the three returned to one of many two Vietnamese males’ resort rooms. The British girl reported to the native police that the rape was within the resort room .

The girl said that the two men, after forcing her to have sex, forced her to shower to remove any body fluid in her body. There he was aware of what had happened. The injured woman ratified days later, she told the agents of the Benemérita in the Son Bugadelles barracks, in Calvià. On June 28, the girl and her family left the island.

The two suspects, hours after being arrested, were taken to the courts of Via Alemania to sit before the judge. Both availed themselves of their right not to testify. They appeared in courtroom on June 28 and had been granted bail, however their passports had been confiscated by authorities.

Cops stand guard in Madrid, Spain, October 3, 2020. Picture by Reuters/Javier Barbancho
Polices stand guard in Madrid, Spain, October 3, 2020. Picture by Reuters/Javier Barbancho

The Vietnamese Embassy in Spain has contacted Spain’s foreign residence agency to request assistance in visa procedures for these two citizens, cited from the press briefing on July 1 by the Vietnam Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At another regular press briefing on July 21, when answering media agencies’ requested updates on the case, the Deputy Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the investigation is still underway. Following the direction of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the embassy closely monitored the case, kept in close contact with local authorities and the citizens in question, and implemented measures to support the citizens following the provisions of the laws of Vietnam and Spain.

Zoey Nguyễn