Woman gets jail term, lashes for adultery

Sadiq A. Salam
Filed on March 13, 2006

RAS AL KHAIMAH — She collapsed on the floor and started yelling and crying loudly when the judge sentenced her to five years imprisonment and 150 lashes for committing adultery.

The court also sentenced three of her five male accomplices to three months in jail and 150 lashes, while the remaining two suspects have been acquitted of all the charges raised against them. The court also acquitted one of them of charges of stealing the woman’s two cellular phones.

The judge issued strongly-worded warnings to the six men not to repeat such violations in the future. The court also ordered the woman, of an Arab nationality, to be put under probation for another five years, followed by deportation.

The case history dates back to last January when Layali A. accused the five men, of different Arab nationalities, of having gang-raped her after they kidnapped her from a nightclub.

She claimed that the six men, according to the casesheet, posed as cops and tricked her into their car. She also said that they took her into a house and raped her. They denied the charges and claimed that the woman accompanied them and had sex with them at her own will. Due to her conflicting testimonies, the authorities suspected that the woman was a professional sex worker and put her behind bars on charges of adultery. A lawyer of two of the six defendants had earlier announced severance of contract with them for they furnished him with false information.

Memdooh Al Sahabi, the lawyer, earlier told the court that he was discontinuing his advocacy of the case, because the two defendants misled him into taking up the case. The defendants allegedly lied to the lawyer as to where they picked up the rape victim. They said they picked her up from a wedding party on the basis of which he took up the case. Al Sahabi told the court: “Your honour, I am regretfully disowning this case. I cannot defend those who go to, own, or work in nightclubs, as my religious and moral convictions do not permit that.”

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