British couple arrested in Dubai for extra-marital sex

Tue Jan 12, 2010 11:54am EST
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By Raissa Kasolowsky

DUBAI (Reuters) - Dubai police said Tuesday they had found no evidence to support a British woman's report that she was raped by a waiter in the Gulf Arab emirate, but have arrested her and her boyfriend for having sex outside marriage.

The case is the second time in a just over a year in which Britons have hit the headlines by falling foul of laws banning extra-marital sex in Dubai, a Muslim emirate popular with sun-seeking Western tourists and expatriates.

The woman, 23, and her British boyfriend, 44, were in Dubai as tourists when they reported to police that she had been raped by a Syrian waiter in the bathroom of a hotel bar, Khamis al-Muzinah, deputy commander of the Dubai police, told Reuters.

"The police didn't find any proof that anything happened in the bathroom," Muzinah said.

The investigation found that the British woman had been very drunk and an Indian bartender had helped her find the toilets, where two female staff were present at the time, Muzinah said.

She vomited several times and fell asleep on a chair before being escorted back to her boyfriend by one of the two female staff, he said.

During questioning the following day, the woman told police that she had been sharing a hotel room with her boyfriend and that they had had sex, which led to the couple being arrested.

"They have been charged for having sex without marriage," Muzinah said, adding that the police had now handed the case to the public prosecutor, who would decide whether to bring a court case against them. The couple are currently free, he said.   Continued...

<p>Motorists drive along Sheikh Zayed road in Dubai December 25, 2009. REUTERS/Mosab Omar</p>