ABU DHABI // A Jordanian woman fined Dh5,000 for sitting in a cafe with a man who was not related to her told the Appeals Court that her husband set her up to avoid paying alimony.
SF was previously found guilty of "beautifying the sin" for sitting alone with a man who is not her "mahram", or male relative. A woman's mahram includes her husband, father, brother, and uncle.
However, she told the Appeals Court that the two were not alone - and that the man was the boyfriend of her friend, who she was with.
"I was out with my friend, and then her boyfriend joined us, I don't even know him," she said.
"Then my husband came and took photos of me and the man as if we were sitting alone. He then attacked me at the cafe and stole my memory card."
Chief Justice Dr Khairi Al Kabbash asked if they were still married - she replied that they were but that she had since filed for divorce.
"Now that I have been convicted he is forcing me to pay all divorce charges, in addition to all the damage he caused me."
She added that this was the second time he had attacked her and lamented the fact that she was the one facing charges and not him. The judge replied that he was concerned only with the case in front of him.
"I have witnesses and they are waiting for the serving order to attend," said the woman. "My friend will testify that the man was her boyfriend and that she was sitting with us, and the cafe's chef who tried to help me after my husband attacked me [will also testify]."
Dr Al Kabbash asked the woman if her friend was willing to testify that the man was her boyfriend - reminding her that this would involve her friend admitting an illegitimate relationship.
"She called me to apologise about what happened, and I told her I just wanted her to testify in court and she agreed," answered the woman. "It was her mistake - she should take responsibility."
She said that she also wanted the chef to testify, in case her friend decided not to appear.
"Your friend is not considered your mahram anyway, so sitting with her and the strange man does not make it right," said Dr Al Kabbash, who adjourned the case to next Sunday.