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Saudi schoolteacher accused of raping 13 students

The lawyer of a Saudi schoolteacher accused of raping 13 underage girls has called for dropping 11 out of 13 charges against his client and asked for the case to be heard quickly.

“My client is innocent of all the serious charges against him,” Wael Jawharji told a press conference in Jeddah, the Saudi capital on Monday.

He said he expected to receive a reply to his request to drop the charges from the Bureau of Investigation and Prosecution within two weeks.

The brother of the suspect claimed at the press conference that one of the investigators asked him to sign a report stating that his brother was psychologically sick or under a magical spell to secure his release.

“I would never have defended the accused if I was not sure of his innocence,” the lawyer said, and expressed hope his client would soon be acquitted.

Jawharji blamed the media for defaming his client and his family but ruled out any legal action.

“However, we are ready to take the media to court if they continue to defame my client,” he said, asking the media to use the term “detained” instead of “suspect” or “accused” to refer to the teacher.

The lawyer said he was holding the press conference to influence public opinion in favor of the suspect following substantial negative coverage about him.

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