BRINDISI, Italy — A decide in southern Italy on Wednesday was weighing whether or not Academy Award-winning movie director Paul Haggis ought to go free whereas Italian prosecutors examine a lady’s allegations that he had intercourse along with her over two days with out her consent.
Haggis’ lawyer, Michele Laforgia, mentioned after the listening to Wednesday in Brindisi courthouse that his shopper reiterated his complete innocence and is in “hopeful expectation” that he shall be finally vindicated.
Decide Vilma Giil was anticipated to situation her determination later Wednesday.
“Paul Haggis answered all questions and defined what occurred,” Laforgia informed reporters outdoors the courthouse. “He declared himself, as he had already finished proper after the detention, fully harmless, within the sense that the intercourse he had with this lady was completely consensual.”
Whereas the lady’s allegations are investigated, the 69-year-old Canadian-born director, producer and screenwriter was ordered on Sunday to remain detained in his visitor residence in a farmhouse in Ostuni, a well-liked vacationer city in Puglia, the area forming the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.
Prosecutors have mentioned he’s underneath investigation for alleged aggravated sexual violence and aggravated private accidents.
They didn’t instantly remark after the listening to, which lasted a number of hours.
Prosecutors have described the lady as younger and international. State TV and different Italian media mentioned she is a 30-year-old Englishwoman who had identified Haggis earlier than he got here to Ostuni to take part in an arts pageant that started this week.
Requested by a reporter what sort of relationship Haggis and the lady had, Laforgia replied that the 2 had had a “relationship of acquaintance.”
The lawyer mentioned the protection disputes a hospital report indicating that the lady had suffered bodily accidents.
“There isn’t any signal of harm nor signal of violence,” Laforgia asserted, including, “I consider that they (the investigators) badly interpreted the findings of the emergency room” of a Brindisi hospital, the place the lady was taken after she informed authorities that she had been sexually abused.
Haggis co-wrote, directed and produced “Crash,” which received the 2006 Academy Awards for finest image and finest screenplay. He additionally wrote the screenplay for “Million Greenback Child,” one other Oscar winner.
He has had authorized issues in recent times stemming from sexual misconduct accusations by 4 girls in the USA.
On Sunday, shortly after Italian prosecutors introduced the investigation and detention of Haggis, he U.S.-based legal professional, Priya Chaudhry, informed The Related Press that though she couldn’t focus on the proof underneath Italian regulation, “I’m assured that each one allegations shall be dismissed towards Mr. Haggis. He’s completely harmless, and keen to totally cooperate with the authorities so the reality comes out shortly.”
As a result of Haggis doesn’t communicate Italian, he submitted written statements in English to the courtroom all through the listening to. Translations back-and-forth lengthened the period of the listening to, Laforgia mentioned.
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