Jordan withdraws three athletes from Paralympics after they are charged with sex offences (Daily Mail, Aug. 21, 2012)

Three members of the Jordanian Paralympic squad charged with sex offences will not be taking part in the Games, organisers have confirmed.

The three men – two wheelchair power lifters, including a bronze medallist from the Beijing Games, and a trainer – are accused of sexual assault and voyeurism against women and girls during a training camp in Northern Ireland.

Omar Sami Qaradhi, 31, Faisal Hammash, 35, and Motaz Al Junaidi, 45, all members of the Jordanian power-lifting squad, are now returning to Jordan after the country’s king began looking into the case.

Motaz Al Junaidi, 45, who won bronze at the Paralympics in Beijing, is accused of sexual assault.

Team-mate Omar Sami Qaradhi, 31, faces three charges of sexual assault, two against a child, and one of voyeurism after allegedly entering a women’s changing room at the Antrim Forum leisure centre where the squad was training.

Police said he was identified by a girl aged 14, who claimed that on August 18 she posed for photos with him before he groped her between the legs in Antrim town centre.

Trainer Faisal Hammash, 35, is accused of inciting two girls to engage in sexual activity. Mr Cahir said he was merely photographing the girls in the Antrim area.


Leaving court: Power lifter Omar Sami Qaradhi, 31, (left) allegedly entered a women’s changing room at the Antrim Forum leisure centre while fellow power lifter Motaz Al Junaidi, 45, is accused of sexual assault


Accused: Trainer Faisal Hammash (back with hood) was arrested along with Omar and Motaz in Antrim on Monday night

Applying for bail, Tony Cahir, solicitor for the three accused, said Al Junaidi was born with polio.

Mr Cahir said Qaradhi had not had any legs since birth and was incapable of sexual gratification.

In granting bail, district judge Richard Wilson said he accepted the argument that the embarrassment should they fail to reappear in court would outweigh the resulting financial loss.

The Jordanian team has been training in Antrim, about 22 miles from Belfast, in advance of the Paralympic Games starting next week.


Arriving for hearing: Omar (left) was allegedly identified by a girl aged 14 who claimed that on August 18 she posed for photos with him before he groped her between the legs, while one of the alleged victims made claims against Motaz (right) after police had begun their investigation and several days after the disputed incident. […]