ABU DHABI // The defence lawyer for two Europeans who are accused of kissing in public and consuming alcohol told the court yesterday that his clients are not bound by the Sharia law that prohibits both offences. IK, a Russian woman, is charged with consensual dishonour and pleaded guilty to kissing, at the first hearing last week at the Criminal Court of First Instance. The man she is accused of kissing, ZV, is facing adultery charges.
The two are among five people who are before the court facing charges of adultery, consumption of alcohol and drugs. The three men and two women have been denied bail and are awaiting a verdict in their case. It is not known how the five know one another. IK told the court last week that the kiss was a "normal greeting kiss", but the judge responded by saying: "Maybe it's normal in Russia." The defence lawyer, Abdul Khader Ghazal, told the judge that the forensic evidence conducted by the Abu Dhabi Police Science Laboratory found alcohol in the blood sample of ZV.
"My client is charged with consuming alcohol but there is no such a charge of consuming alcohol under the Sharia law," he said. "We can establish that he was not drunk. As he is not Muslim, he is further not subject to the same rules we are subject to," Mr Ghazal told the court. UAE law, however, prohibits residents from consuming alcohol, irrespective of religion or nationality, without a proper licence issued by each emirate's police authority.
The lawyer also sought leniency because his client is believed to have consumed alcohol without the proper licence from Abu Dhabi Police. Mr Ghazal said there were no witnesses for the adultery charges. Unless both the accused plead guilty, Sharia law requires four Muslim witnesses to testify in court. The lawyer submitted evidence that the drugs found in the urine sample of one of his clients is from a prescribed medication purchased in Russia.
The case was postponed for the judicial panel to review the evidence submitted. email@example.com