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Missing Rahma: police taped family phone calls

Police secretly recorded telephone conversations between members of the El-Dennaoui family and their friends during an inquest into the disappearance of Rahma El-Dennaoui held earlier this year.

In Glebe Coroner's Court this morning, counsel assisting the Coroner, Robert Bromwich, SC, revealed police conducted telephone taps of several phones during the hearing in April.

The intercepts continued in May and June.

The Court was played four phone calls between Rouba Dennaoui, the aunt of Rahma, and another woman, in which they discuss rumours that Rouba's husband, Ahmed, was not at home on the night Rahma disappeared.

The 20-month-old has not been seen since the early hours of November 14, 2005, after her parents put her to bed.

Under questioning by Mr Bromwich, Samia Nabouche agreed that in the phone calls, which were mostly in Arabic, Rouba was concerned about rumours of Ahmed's absence from the house on November 14, 2005.


Mr Bronwich said Rouba was worried that Ms Nabouche was telling people, and would possibly tell the inquest, that Ahmed was not at home.

Ms Nabouche said she couldn't remember Rouba telling her anything about Ahmed not being at home that night.

But Ms Nabouche agreed the other woman confronted her on behalf of Rouba, telling her not to repeat the allegation.

Rahma's father, Hosayn El-Dennaoui and his wife Alyaa are in court for the hearing. Mr El-Dennaoui is represented by Legal Aid.

The inquest continues.