Three UAE nationals on trial for raping French boy

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DUBAI, Nov 1 (Reuters) Three United Arab Emirates nationals, including a man who has AIDS, are on trial for luring a French teenager into their vehicle and gang-raping him at knifepoint, a newspaper reported today.

Two of the suspects, a 35-year-old and an 18-year-old, were standing trial in a criminal court while the third, 17, is facing a juvenile court, Gulf News said.

''The three were charged with forcefully undressing the victim, threatening him with a knife and a stick before having sex with him against his will,'' the newspaper said, adding that two lawyers have refused to represent the suspects.

It said the two men denied the charges when they appeared in court on Wednesday. The trial of the minor is closed.

The suspects were also accused of deceiving the victim and one of his friends, a 16-year-old, into their car by offering to drive them home.

Dubai, one of seven members of the United Arab Emirates federation and a regional tourism and trade hub, is hoping to draw 15 million tourists a year over the next decade and become a major tourism destination.

Dubai, like fellow Gulf Arab monarchies, is home to hunderds of thousands of expatriates mainly from the Indian subcontinent.

REUTERS PJ PM1717

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