An Egyptian Minister reportedly wept, tried to claim diplomatic immunity and then sought to portray himself as a victim of a cultural misunderstanding after he was arrested and fined for allegedly groping a young woman tourist here on Sunday.
Ebrahim Ahmed Khalil (56), a junior Egyptian Sports Minister accompanying his country’s Paralympians, was handing out Egyptian flag badges to people outside a luxury hotel where he was staying when he approached a young woman and, on the pretext of telling her where to pin the badge, tried to grope her, according to The Daily Mail.
The victim (25), who was with her mother and young brother, “felt shocked, embarrassed, violated and upset”, the prosecutor told the City of London Magistrates’ Court where Mr. Khalil was produced on Tuesday after spending two days in police custody.
The court heard that images from CCTV cameras showed him approaching the three family members and kissing the victim’s mother. He then “approached the complainant, pointed his right index finger, and pressed it on her right breast,” Regina Naughton for the prosecution said.
Even after the woman appeared to protest and her mother said “What is it?”, Mr. Khalil persisted.
Mr. Khalil, who does not speak English and listened to the proceedings through an interpreter, claimed that he was simply trying to tell her “where to put the badge”. He said he didn’t really understand what he had done wrong, but wanted to apologise.
His defence lawyer said the Minister had “an absolutely exemplary record and this is the first time he has been in any kind of trouble”.
Mr. Khalil, a father of three, reportedly wept when the magistrate ordered him to pay a £160 fine. He was also ordered to pay £100 in costs, £100 compensation to the woman, and a £15 “victim surcharge”.