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Iraqi twins involved in brutal beating of Portuguese teen speak up: “We are victims of circumstance”

Following reports that they had fled Portugal (click here), the twin sons of Iraq’s ambassador to Portugal, who are suspected of beating 15-year-old Ruben Cavaco so badly he had to be put into a medically induced coma, have granted an interview to SIC TV channel in which they described themselves as “victims of circumstance” and assured they are not going anywhere until the situation is resolved.

“It’s a dangerous recipe when you have teenagers, alcohol, a group mentality… things get out of control,” one of the twins said.

“I wouldn’t say that I’m a victim of Ruben, or Ruben is a victim of me. But I would say that we, collectively, are victims of a circumstance which happens easily in Portugal,” he added.

“Just this case has been receiving so much attention, but I can assure you that things like this happen every day in Portugal.”

The twins go on to say that “they are not above the law”.

“We complied with all the police procedures, even though we didn’t have to. We could have simply claimed diplomatic immunity, and we wouldn’t have to answer any interrogation or any investigation.”

When questioned whether they planned to leave the country, one of the twins reacted with a smile and said “we are not going anywhere”.

“I’ve seen many news reports about that, which I don’t know why. The media is taking advantage of this situation in order to inflame it and create more problems and scandals and aggravate people against me and my brother.

“Obviously, we are still here. We are waiting for this situation to blow off, to see the result. We would like to see the improvement of Ruben,” they said, adding that they, their family and the embassy are all “praying” for Ruben’s recovery.

“Until this situation is resolved, we are not going anywhere.”

The full interview will only air tonight (August 23) on SIC’s Jornal da Noite at 8pm.

According to an article on SIC’s website, the twins Haider and Ridha claim they were attacked by Ruben Cavaco and a group of five young men near a bar in the Alentejo town of Ponte de Sor.

They say they returned to the location later on to retrieve some personal items they had dropped during the previous fight, and got involved in another clash with Ruben.

The twins admit to having beaten Ruben, but deny running him over.

Iraq’s Embassy in Portugal had already said in a statement that the twins had been attacked by a large group and “insulted for being Arab”.

Meantime, Iraq’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says it has launched an investigation to “determine the details of this incident”. It added that despite all the trouble, it wants to “maintain the efficiency of its diplomatic relations with all countries, including Portugal”.

Authorities in Portugal are also investigating, while an online petition has been launched calling for “justice” and saying that the Iraqi twins “cannot go unpunished for such a serious crime that showed an animal-like side of the aggressors”.
The petition can be found (click here).

michael.bruxo@algarveresident.com