Halifax taxi driver acquitted of sexual assault lets licence expire

Published on March 14, 2017

Bassam Al-Rawi appears in Halifax Provincial Court on Thursday.

©Jeff Harper/Metro

The former Halifax taxi driver acquitted of sexual assault this month no longer has a licence to drive a cab in the municipality.

Bassam Al-Rawi had a conditional licence since September 2015 when the municipality’s appeals standing committee granted his appeal of the revocation of his licence when he was charged in May 2015. But the driver never filed the proper paperwork with the municipality to actually drive again, and his licence was deemed non-operational.

Municipal spokesperson Brendan Elliott said in an email on Monday that Al-Rawi’s licence expired on Friday.

“We didn't revoke or suspend his licence,” Elliott wrote. “It just expired, as anyone's licence would if you don't renew it. Taxi driver licences have to be renewed every two years. He let his expire.”

Al-Rawi’s licence had been under review by the taxi licensing office, but that review has now ended.

“The municipality now considers the matter closed and will not be conducting any further investigation into Al-Rawi’s standing as a driver,” Elliott wrote.

“Court transcripts from Al-Rawi’s criminal trial, and any other relevant information, will be included in his file with the taxi and limousine licensing office in the event he applies for a taxi driver’s licence at some later date.”

Al-Rawi’s controversial acquittal earlier this month sparked a national conversation about consent and protests of Judge Gregory Lenehan, who said in his decision, “clearly, a drunk can consent.”

The Nova Scotia Public Prosecution Service announced last week it was appealing Lenehan’s decision.