TWO men who were accused of murdering a 13-year-old schoolgirl and disposing of her body at a takeaway have been in the dock again.
One of them said he had been accused of rape five times since the schoolgirl disappeared in 2003.
Iyad Albattikhi, 33, and his business partner Mohammed Reveshi, 53, were acquitted of charges involving the disappearance of former St George’s High School pupil Charlene Downes.
They went on to get compensation of almost £300,000 each for false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.
Now the duo have accused police in Blackpool of running a vendetta against them.
Reveshi, of Hornby Road, and his partner who lives above the former Funny Boyz – now Mr Beanz – takeaway on Dickson Road are appealing against a Blackpool Council decision to revoke their premises licence.
The case is being heard by District Judge Jeff Brailsford sitting at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court. He will deliver a verdict at a later date.
Jordanian Albattikhi was asked during his evidence how many times he had been arrested for rape.
He told the court: “I’ve been arrested five times for it, but never charged. And each of the five times came after the Charlene Downes case.
“The police don’t like me because I have proved they are corrupt.
“They have so called intelligence reports on me but they are not right – we are talking about a conspiracy.
“When licensing officers go to Club Sanuk there are two of them – when they come to our place, there are eight.”
Earlier in the hearing, he had been accused of plying teenage girls with drink and drugs in exchange for sex.
Reveshi told the hearing he and his partner had invested a lot of money in the business which had suffered when both spent over a year in jail awaiting the murder trial.
The prosecution at Preston Crown Court alleged the schoolgirl’s remains may have been put into the food chain.
Since the case he said he had considered selling up but no-one wanted to buy because of its association with the missing girl.
They had since changed the restaurant’s name.
Reveshi said: “One of the pieces of information on the police intelligence reports the council committee made its decision on to revoke our licence was the fact I was seen driving a teenage girl around in a car – that was my foster daughter. I have fostered many children. I am the victim of a conspiracy.”
Counsel for the duo Fraser Livesey said the police intelligence reports on his clients were all smoke without fire, one is based on the ramblings of a drunken man down the phone.
He added: “People come to Blackpool to have a drink and there are incidents at pubs and clubs and late night venues whether the council likes it or not that is the nature of the town.”
“But what these men have been accused of doing is just hearsay, rumours, which get around because of the takeaway’s history.”