Taxi driver found guilty of rape

A Wellington District Court jury took seven hours yesterday to find Abdirazak Yussuf Mussa, 56, of Miramar guilty of two charges of rape but found him not guilty on a charge of abducting the 18-year-old with intent to have sex.

Mussa, who is HIV positive, picked the complainant up in his Wellington Competitive taxi in the early hours of September 3, 2006, and kept asking her back to his place for a drink.

After he stopped at a supermarket for beer she gave in. At his house he raped her twice before taking her home. He used condoms during the rape.

In a highly publicised first trial Mussa was found guilty on all charges and sentenced to 11 years. He was freed after an appeal quashed his convictions and ordered a retrial.

It took months before the victim was cleared of contracting Aids.

Judge Bruce Davidson yesterday remanded Mussa in custody till April 22 for a new sentencing.

The judge had told the jury they had to guard against prejudice in a case of a refugee Somalian, HIV positive, taxi driver and not think about stereotypes such as people with HIV shouldn’t have sex or that all Muslims were terrorists.

He said they also had to guard against sympathy for the victim.

Judge Davidson said they had to be satisfied of the truthfulness of the victim’s account. The defence did not have to prove she was lying or had made a false complaint.

He said lies told by Mussa when he denied knowing the complainant at all did not necessarily mean he was guilty as lies could be told for all sorts of reasons.

The judge said there were important issues to consider such as problems over accounting for three hours of missing time or whether due to traumatic events the times should be seen as rough estimates.

Judge Davidson said the Crown’s case said Mussa’s account of her starting the sexual encounter was fantasy while the defence said she had gone with him willingly.

Taxi driver found guilty of rape