Letter: On trial for rape

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Sir: I am appalled by Jack Straw's proposal to the Police Federation that a man accused of rape should be barred from personally cross- examining his accusers ("Rapists will lose right to quiz victims", 21 May).

The most basic principle of English law is that a man is innocent until proved guilty. This proposal stands that principle on its head. It assumes that any man on trial for rape is guilty and therefore ineligible to cross- examine the woman accusing him.

Those accused of rape should have the same rights of cross- examination available to those accused of any other crime. Mr Straw's proposals are an abuse of civil rights.


London NW4