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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Where is Rhama El-Dennaoui?

The inquest into the disappearance of baby Rhama El-Dennaoui restarted this week and now the inquiry is looking into the possibility that her abduction was staged.  Police secretly tapped the phones of her parents and their extended family for months and those conversations were played to the court.

The 20 month old girl was last seen at her home in the Sydney suburb of Lurnea about 2am on 10th November 2005 sleeping with her two sisters.  When the family awoke next morning, she was gone and there was a hole cut in the flyscreen on the window, big enough for a small child to be lifted through.

At the April inquest, Rahma's father Hosayn denied he is a well known drug dealer and that his daughter accidentally swallowed ecstacy the night before she vanished.  It was also alleged that he left home early the day Rahma went missing and was absent for several hours.

A pistol and other gun parts were found by police in Mr El-Dennaoui's garage during the search for Rahma but he said they had been in a leather bag he bought off a stranger outside his house. He didn't know the guns were in the bag and thought he was buying a bag that contained three gold chains.  The court also heard that Rahma's father regularly entertained men with criminal links at his family home.

On April 27, The Daily Telegraph published new allegations that Mr El-Dennaoui had killed his daughter in a fit of rage and her body had been taken to a farm in the country, outside Sydney, and hidden.

The child's aunt Rouba Dennaoui who gave evidence in April was most uncooperative yesterday.   Conversations between herself and relatives were played to the court and she was asked to explain why they chose to use code words. She sat with her arms crossed and repeatedly answered "I don't know" or "I can't remember."  The Coroner said her refusal to answer questions gave a "suspicious flavour" to the taped conversations.

Family 2006

Rahma's father often joked about collecting the reward money for information about the case, which has increased to $200,000.   In one recorded conversation with his brother-in-law Said Dennaoui, he said that a relative could confess to police, collect the reward money and split it between them.  He says "They can transfer it (the reward) to me" to which Said says "Well that's it, you go and confess."

Rahma's mother was drilled about the child's health after it was alleged she was often sick, regularly visited the doctor and cried a lot.   Her mother said that was not true.

The child's aunt initially told a friend she had been caring for the sick child the night she disappeared and saw her father "throw her against a couch."  But yesterday she denied she was there. "I was at my house" she said.

Evidence gathered by police found that Rahma's father has a foul temper and demanded strict obedience from his children and some believe he may have accidentally killed his daughter in a fit of rage.

With so many allegations and no cooperation, will they ever find the truth?

The inquest continues.