The 25-year-old Indian taxi driver, extradited on charges of raping an Australian woman passenger, had fled the country on a one-way ticket to India after committing the crime, a court was told on Thursday. Jaswinder Singh Mutta, the first Indian to be extradited to Victoria, is facing two counts of rape charges and one of indecent assault.
Mutta appeared in a Victoria court where it was heard that the cabbie fled to India on a one way ticket after allegedly raping his passenger. He left Melbourne on a Thai Airways flight on February 6, 2010 after buying his one way ticket.
In opposing Mutta's bail application in a Magistrates Court, senior investigative official, Shane Jenkins, unfolded the incident and informed that the alleged victim, who was 26, had met two girlfriends for dinner on January 17, 2010, and had been drinking wine throughout the night.
According to a report in 'The Age' newspaper, Jenkins told the court that the victim hailed Mutta's taxi and asked him to take her home.
Jenkins said the woman vomited in the back of the taxi and Mutta told her she would have to clean it up. Mutta drove her home and waited as she went to get a bucket of water and some cleaning products. As she was cleaning the taxi, Mutta pointed inside the taxi and said, "What about that?". Mutta then forced the woman into the back seat of the taxi and raped her.
The official informed the court that Mutta at one stage told the woman, "Maybe I have AIDS", before saying, "Just joking".
Mutta, who came to Australia in December 2008 on a student visa, was interviewed by police on February 4 where he denied the rape allegations and refused to take part in an identification parade or give a DNA sample.
Jenkins said police had seized Mutta's mobile phone which had two photographs of the alleged victim. Mutta was released by police because of insufficient evidence at the time and next day he went to a flight centre office, and paid USD 975.59 for the one-way flight to New Delhi via Bangkok before flying out later that night.
Jenkins said a warrant for Mutta's arrest was issued after police found semen in the back of his taxi and in the victim's underwear. Mutta was taken into custody by Indian authorities on January 5 this year before being extradited. It was the first time an Indian national had been extradited to Victoria.
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