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An Italian court says there is no reason to continue the investigation against filmmaker Paul Haggis

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A court in the city of Lecce ruled that there is no reason to continue the investigation against film director Paul Haggisaccused of having sexual relations with a woman without her consent.

The ANSA news agency reported that the court of that city in southern Italy ruled in favor of the Oscar-winning Canadian filmmaker, who, after being released on July 4, He was in danger of being placed under house arrest again.

“After seeing the evidence and hearing the arguments of both parties, the Lecce District Court, a three-judge court of appeal, unanimously rejected the appeal of the prosecutor to reinstate Haggis’s house arrest,” said Michele Laforgia, Haggis’s Italian lawyer.

Haggis had been arrested on June 19 in Ostuni, under house arrest.

Haggis had been arrested on June 19 in Ostuni, under house arrest.

Background

Haggis, who won two Academy Awards for Crash -He is also known for having written the screenplay for million dollar Baby-, was arrested on June 19 in Ostuni, a town in the southern region of Puglia -at the heel of the Italian boot-, for allegedly sexually abusing a 28-year-old British woman with whom he was linked in those June days .

After the woman’s complaint and while the investigation was being carried out, the 69-year-old director spent 16 days under house arrest in a hotel, before being released.

“Three weeks ago, Judge Vilma Gilli of the Brindisi Court questioned the alleged victim and then immediately annulled Haggis’s house arrest,” Laforgia said in the statement.

The Brindisi prosecutor appealed his decision to the Court of Lecce. But Haggis’ attorney presented, in her own words, “irrefutable and objective evidence that the woman told multiple lies to investigators and the court, with facts and witnesses that completely contradict her version.”

Haggis the day he went to testify at the Court of Brindisi.

Haggis the day he went to testify at the Court of Brindisi.

Waiting for the closure of the case

After this decision by the Court not to continue investigating the case, there were still no comments from the alleged victim’s legal team.

For his part, Laforgia maintains that Haggis’ arrest was the result of a miscarriage of justice. And that with the evidence presented, prosecutors should close the case. This is expected to happen in the coming weeks, unless new evidence turns up.

On Friday night, the Court of Lecce contacted the lawyers of both parties to inform them of the court’s decision, rejecting the prosecutor’s appeal and confirming the decision made by Judge Gilli. So far, four judges have ruled in favor of Haggis.

“In the coming weeks, the reasons for the decision and, therefore, the fate of the pending judicial proceedings in Italy will be known,” Laforgia added in the statement.

The cases against Haggis in the United States

It should be remembered that Haggis is also facing similar court proceedings in the United States.where film publicist Haleigh Brest denounced him alleging that Haggis raped her in January 2013.

Breest originally filed the lawsuit in December 2017, although proceedings have been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now a date was set for the trial: it will be October 11 in Manhattan, New York. Haggis assures that the meeting with Brest, which supposedly took place after a premiere, was consensual.

Following the Brest complaint, three more women accused him of sexual abuse. Haggis denied all the accusations. The filmmaker once said that the complaints are retaliation by the Church of Scientology, a community he left in 2009. But the complainants denied that claim.

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Reference from clarin www.clarin.com

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