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Former Halifax taxi driver wants one sexual assault charge quashed

HALIFAX — A former Halifax taxi driver at the centre of a controversial sexual assault acquittal is moving to quash one of the charges against him.

Crown lawyer Carla Ball has confirmed that Bassam Al-Rawi's lawyer Ian Hutchinson notified the Halifax province court Monday that his client wants a hearing on a motion to quash a sexual assault charge from 2012.

Al-Rawi was accused of sexually assaulting a woman in 2012, but it was decided in March 2013 there was insufficient evidence to charge him.

Police took another look at the file last year and it was decided there were grounds for a charge of sexual assault.

Lawyers will return to court Aug. 9 to set a date for that hearing.

He also faces a charge of sexual assault in connection with a May 2015 incident, after an acquittal was overturned in January by the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal.

The appeal court concluded the judge that presided over Al-Rawi's trial erred in law by finding there was no evidence of lack of consent.

Judge Gregory Lenehan's comment in his decision that "clearly, a drunk can consent" to sex sparked a national debate over intoxication and the capacity to consent to sex.

Dates for his retrial on that charge are expected to be set Aug. 21.





The Canadian Press

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