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'Threatened' to withdraw case against Pomersbach: victim

The American woman allegedly molested by Luke Pomersbach today told a Delhi court that she was being threatened "apparently" by a foreign coach associated with the Royal Challengers Banglore team. What the victim saidvideo | Pomersbach gets interim bail till tomorrow

india Updated: May 18, 2012 21:08 IST
New Delhi,US citizen,IPL 2012

The American woman allegedly molested by Australian cricketer Luke Pomersbach on Friday told a Delhi court that she was being threatened "apparently" by a foreign coach associated with the Royal Challengers Banglore team in the IPL.

The woman appeared in the court and told metropolitan magistrate Navita Kumari Bagha that she was being pressured to take back the molestation case against Pomersbach.

"They threatened me three-four hours ago. When I went back to the hotel to take my belongings, I was given threats apparently by the coach of the team. He introduced himself as the coach of the team.

"Pressure is being mounted on me to withdraw the case but I will not do so," the woman said.

Pomersbach allegedly molested her and assaulted her fiance on Thursday at a five-star hotel in New Delhi after the IPL party.

The Australian cricketer, arrested on charges of molesting an American woman in a hotel on Thursday night, was on Friday granted interim bail for a day by a Delhi court.

The woman, who was accompanied by two of her friends, broke down in the court room before commencement of the hearing and was seen being consoled by them.

During the proceedings, the woman narrated the whole incident to the court and also showed the photograph of her fiance Sahil, who was severely beaten up allegedly by the cricketer and is admitted in ICU in a hospital.

"He just tried to save me and that's how he was hurt," she said.

To a court's query, the woman said she had come to India to meet his fiance, who lives in Mumbai, two months ago and had come to Delhi to watch the IPL match.

There was drama during the 30-minute proceedings, when the 27-year-old batsman, playing for Royal Challengers, Bangalore, in the IPL, complained of uneasiness and fainted while the victim broke down when she narrated the incident.

Policemen took him outside the court room and gave him water after which he regained composure to come back to the court room made stuffy by the crowd of lawyers, journalists and onlookers.

Pomersbach, who has had a history of brawls and brush with police in his country, and accused of outraging the modesty of a woman in New Delhi on Thursday night after a post-match party, was granted relief by metropolitan magistrate Navita Kumari Bagha till Saturday.

The Magistrate directed the Delhi Police to bring the CCTV footage from the hotel on Saturday along with the medical records showing the nature of injury caused to the woman's fiance Sahil, who is admitted in ICU in a private hospital in New Delhi after being allegedly beaten by Pomersbach.

"The accused is granted interim bail till tomorrow," the magistrate said.

"Bring the CCTV footage of the hotel and the doctors opinion about the nature of the injuries sustained by him (the woman's fiancee Sahil)," the court said.

During the hearing, the court asked the Delhi police as to why they had not secured the CCTV footage of the hotel.

Delhi Police had sought that the court should sent the cricketer into judicial custody.

The woman narrated the sequence of the event saying that she was with her fiance and Pomersbach forcibly entered their room in the hotel to have drinks and molested her.

"Sahil only told him 'please leave the room' and he (Pomersbach) turned and started assaulting him and punched him (Sahil) several times on his face," she said.

Delhi Police submitted that Pomersbach misbehaved with the woman and assaulted Sahil, who received injury.

The woman told the court that despite being beaten severely the case has been registered under section 323 of the IPC for simple hurt.

"The injuries are grievous and the police have charged him just under Section 323 of the IPC.. Sahil was beaten so badly that he is in the ICU," the woman told the court.

Advocate Neeraj Chaudhary, who appeared for Pomersbach, vehemently opposed the police version and said that Sahil has not not been admitted to the ICU and Pomersbach was instead beaten up by him.

"Pomersbach was beaten up by Sahil in the room. There was no previous rivalry between them. They (Sahil and the woman) had invited Pomersbach to their room," the counsel said adding that his client was not carrying any arms with him.

On this, the woman said, "for molestation, you do not need a pistol or any other arms."

The woman told the court that after the Royal Challengers, Bangalore, won the IPL match on Thursday, a party was going on at the hotel where she was with Sahil.

She said Pomersbach "tagged" along with them and said that he wanted to come for drinks with them. When he came she went to her bedroom to sleep but Pomersbach came from behind and tried to kiss her on which Sahil intervened and asked the cricketer to go out.

At this, Pomersbach assaulted Sahil and beat him up badly.

"Sahil is very serious and is admitted to the ICU. He (Sahil) just tried to save me and that is how he was hurt," she said.

Counsel for Pomersbach, however, denied the allegation and said that the cricketer has also got his hand fractured in Thursday's incident.

He said that Pomersbach was invited by Sahil and his fiancee to their room and they had gone there together.

"Why the police has not taken the CCTV footage of the hotel. It will be crystal clear from the footage that whether Pomersbach had gone there forcibly or they (Sahil and his fiance) had taken him with them," the lawyer said.

Amid all the ruckus, Royal Challengers Bangalore owner Siddharth Mallya attacked the victim in a tweet.

Siddharth, director of the team set up by his father Vijay Mallya, accused her of talking nonsense and went on to say "she was all over me last night and asked for my bbm (blackberry messenger) pin".

Later Siddharth defended his tweet but said that he was not questioning her character but merely stating a fact.

Asked whether his comments would be interpreted as derogatory, Siddharth said, "I am merely stating the truth".

"I don't take any comments back. The tweet was in response to what she has said and I don't think there is anything wrong in that," he told NDTV.

"I maintain that if Luke is in wrong he would face the necessary sanctions. I don't think it is derogatory because I heard that the lady is speaking about beating up her fiance. The guy was not exactly her fiance.

"Luke is my player and RCB is like one family. So I would of course try and protect my player. But I maintain that I haven't spoken to him yet", he said.

Pomersbach was arrested for allegedly molesting an American woman and severely beating up her fiance at a city hotel here.

"If luke is in the wrong, then trust me he will face the necessary sanctions. But what this girl is doing is idiotic," Siddharth wrote on his twitter page.

"First SRK, now this...everyone loves a good scandal. Why can't ppl just enjoy the cricket...has everyone forgotten chris' 100 last night? Everyone wants there 15 minuets," he further wrote.

Later, when questioned on the controversial tweet, Siddharth lost his cool and told a mediaperson "don't touch me."

When the mediapersons told him that he should not abuse the media, he opened the door of his car and said "I abuse you".

Earlier, while addressing the media, Mallya regretted the incident and promised to extend all help and cooperation to the authorities investigating the matter.

"Honestly, this is something I am not fully aware of. I don't know the full details of what Luke has done or what the incident involves. As my dad had said earlier today, we regret any incident that has happened. We will of course cooperate with the relevant authorities but at this point, I myself don't know what has happened.

"Look we were all at the after-match party celebrating our fantastic win against the first-placed team in the league. After that, I am not sure what had happened. I woke up this morning and I saw the news and messages on my phone but as I said, I did not get the opportunity to speak to Luke because he is involved in this thing," Mallya told reporters.

First Published: May 18, 2012 12:05 IST