x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Bid to sue Australia over UAE jailing

Woman jailed for adultery wants to sue her government for not warning her about UAE laws.

DUBAI // An Australian woman who was jailed for adultery will find out today whether she can sue her government for failing to provide advice over laws on reporting rape in the UAE.

Alicia Gali, 29, from Brisbane, was jailed for eight months after going to authorities with allegations she had been drugged and raped by three co-workers at the Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah, where she worked as a beauty salon manager.

She has been given leave by the Brisbane supreme court to sue the resort for failing to protect her from the attack, which occurred in June 2008.

Now, Ms Gali hopes to sue the Commonwealth of Australia on the grounds that consular staff in the UAE failed to warn her that reporting a rape claim against a married man could lead to prosecution for adultery.

She will find out today from the supreme court if she can proceed.

"We are taking this step to protect Alicia's legal options," said Michelle James, of Maurice Blackburn, the legal firm representing Ms Gali.

Australian envoys in the UAE could not be reached yesterday and the department of foreign affairs declined to comment.

The resort operator, Starwood Hotels, has denied there was any neglect, saying it supported Ms Gali throughout her eight months in prison. A court date for that case has not yet been set.