AN appeal brought by a Tunisian man, who was jailed for eight years for raping a woman he had tricked in to coming to his apartment by saying he was gay, has been given top priority after an attempt to have his €100,000 bail reduced by 95 per cent failed.
Samir Mansour (46) was granted bail by the Court of Criminal Appeal in December last year after an application pending an appeal against conviction. Bail was set at €100,000 and it was ordered that Mansour remain in custody until the cash was lodged in court.
Mansour had pleaded not guilty to rape, sexual assault, false imprisonment and making threats to kill at his Westmeath home on January 8th, 2010.
The jury returned a guilty verdict on all counts after seven hours of deliberation following a seven-day trial at the Central Criminal Court.
Presiding judge Mr Justice Adrian Hardiman this morning (Thursday) said that on the last day of the court term before Christmas it was clear a discreet point in appeal had been raised and the court had determined Mansour was entitled to bail.
He said the court had set bail at €100,000 as Mansour had been convicted after trial and had an incentive to leave the jurisdiction.
Mr Justice Hardiman said the court could not consider such a great reduction as the €5,000 lodgement proposed in an affidavit before the court, as this was one twentieth what had been recommended.
He said the court did not believe that anybody would regard €5,000 as sufficient to dissuade a defendant from departing.
Mr Justice Hardiman said the court was “gravely concerned” about the case, and on the basis that it was estimated the appeal would take half a day, the court would put the matter on top of the priority list for next term, giving it precedence over all other cases.
He said the court would direct that the grounds of Mansour’s appeal be submitted by March 4th next, while the State could make their submissions after that date.