Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Morocco’s PSG Defender Achraf Hakimi Accused of Rape


French prosecutors have announced that Achraf Hakimi, a defender for Paris Saint-Germain and Morocco, has been charged with rape. The 24-year-old was indicted by an investigating judge and placed under judicial supervision after being questioned by investigators on Thursday. The alleged victim is a 24-year-old woman who claims she was raped by Hakimi at his home in a Paris suburb on Saturday. As part of his judicial supervision, Hakimi is prohibited from contacting the alleged victim but is allowed to leave French territory.

Hakimi helped Morocco make World Cup history last year by becoming the first African team to reach the tournament’s semifinals. He was seen training with PSG on Friday, despite the charges against him. Prosecutors opened their preliminary investigation on Monday, but being charged does not necessarily mean the case will go to trial under French law.

Rachel Flore Pardo, the lawyer for the alleged victim, told AFP news agency that her client “maintains everything that she said” and “does not want the affair to become a media issue, mainly to protect her safety.” A PSG spokesman said the club “gives its support” to Hakimi and “places its trust in the justice system”.

Hakimi’s lawyer, Fanny Colin, said that Hakimi “firmly denies all the accusations against him” and that he was the victim of “an attempted racket”. She added that Hakimi welcomed the charge laid against him because “he finally has the possibility to defend himself”.

Hakimi began his career in the youth system at Real Madrid before joining Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund in 2018. He made 73 appearances for the German club before moving to Inter Milan in 2020 and then on to PSG in 2021, where he has established himself as an integral part of the team and has struck up a close friendship with star forward Kylian Mbappe.

Hakimi appeared on stage at the FIFA Awards in Paris on Monday, where he was honoured as part of the player-voted men’s all-star team and received brief applause when introduced.

The case against Hakimi is ongoing, and it remains to be seen whether it will go to trial.

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