Indian official in court over indecent assault
An official with India's Commonwealth Games team was granted bail Wednesday on charges of indecent assault and unlawful assault.india Updated: Mar 16, 2006 19:02 IST
An official with India's Commonwealth Games team was granted bail Wednesday on charges of indecent assault and unlawful assault.
Dewan Navi, a 35-year-old massage therapist, appeared at Melbourne Magistrates Court over an alleged incident on Monday morning in the Games village, where athletes and officials from the 71 competing teams stay.
Police allege he assaulted a 16-year-old cleaner in his room. The maximum penalty for sexual assault is two years in jail.
"He has been charged with indecent assault and assault -- two counts," said Victorian Police Commissioner Christine Nixon.
"At this stage he is still in the village but under the control of the management of his team."
The man, who does not speak English, has been suspended from team duties and had his passport confiscated.
"He now has no role or function," said Indian general team manager Gurbir Singh.
"He came to Melbourne as part of the team but he will not function in the role of a masseur and he won't until we can clear up this particular incident.
"If the allegations are proven we will take the harshest possible action against the person involved.
"Unfortunately this incident has been reported at a time when the whole focus is on the Games, and it has somewhat taken away from our preparations."
It was not the start that Commonwealth Games organisers were hoping for, with 10 years of planning and preparations for the event overshadowed by the incident on Monday.
Navi was bailed to reappear at the court on Friday.