Rahma’s mother accused of coaching daughters’ evidence

The mother of missing toddler Rahma El-Dennaoui has given “two starkly different versions” of how a cable drum came to be placed under the window of the bedroom where the child was sleeping the night she disappeared, an inquest has heard.

In Glebe Coroner’s Court on Tuesday Alyaa El-Dennaoui was also accused of “coaching” her daughters to give specific evidence regarding the cable drum when they took the stand in April.

Under questioning by counsel assisting the Coroner, Robert Bromwich, SC, Mrs El-Dennaoui said she put the cable drum under the window in the day or two before Rahma disappeared as part of a big clean up of the property following Ramadan.

But in April, she told the court the drum had been there for one or two weeks.

“Was the cable drum placed under the window to make it look like Rahma was abducted?” Mr Bromwich asked.

“You mean we planned to put it there?” She replied.

“That’s what I’m asking,” Mr Bromwich said.

“I have not planned anything,” Mrs El-Dennaoui said.

Mr Bromwich said a psychiatrist would give expert opinion evidence that her daughters had been coached as to their evidence regarding the rubbish clean up.

He said the girls were unable to remember much about the circumstances surrounding their sister’s disappearance, yet they were very clear about moving the rubbish the day before.

“The evidence, it was like it was a script,” Mr Bromwich said.

“We did not teach them what to say,” she replied.

Mrs El-Dennaoui is pregnant with her 13th child and is due to give birth next month. She broke down when asked about the police investigation into Rahma’s disappearance and presumed death.

“They think we are criminals, we are not criminals,” she said.

“If we did that to our child, why would we keep having children?

“Myself, my husband, my whole family have done nothing wrong. We love our children, we care for them … Otherwise why would we have more children?”

Rahma was aged about 20 months when she was last seen by her parents about 2am on November 10, 2005, in their home in the south-western Sydney suburb Lurnea.

The inquest continues.

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