DUBAI // A father accused of torturing his eight-year-old daughter to death and burying her in the desert was today sentenced to a year in jail on a separate charge of consensual sex.
The Dubai Misdemeanour Court also sentenced the father's girlfriend to a year in prison on the sex charge, while both face trial at the Criminal Court on charges related to the daughter's death.
The sex outside of wedlock charge arose when the Emirati couple were being interrogated over the death of Wadeema, the 8-year-old whose body was found wrapped in cloth and buried in the desert in Al Badayer, Sharjah.
The girl's father HS, 29, and AM, 27, were arrested after HS's brother paid a visit to their studio apartment in International City in Dubai. The uncle wanted to check on Wadeema and her younger sister Mira, 7, who were both reported absent from their school for an extended period.
The uncle discovered through Mira that her father and his girlfriend had been torturing the two girls and that Wadeema had died. The uncle reported the matter to police and the couple was arrested.
During investigations they were found to have been living together as a couple without being married and were charged with having sex outside wedlock.
They confessed to the charge of having consensual sex when they appeared before the Court of Misdemeanours today but said they had a marriage certificate which they claimed was signed in the presence of a lawyer.
The father and his girlfriend will now stand before the Dubai Criminal Court to face separate charges of imprisoning and torturing the two girls, torture which lead to the death of Wadeema, and burying a body without the proper permit. A date for this case is yet to be determined.