Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 15 October 2019

British woman arrested in Dubai: Laleh Shahravesh convicted and fined over Facebook abuse charge

The 55-year-old will pay a fine of Dh3,000 and serve no time in jail

Laleh Shahravesh, pictured with daughter Paris, was arrested at Dubai airport. 
Laleh Shahravesh, pictured with daughter Paris, was arrested at Dubai airport. 

A British woman accused of defaming her ex-husband and his new wife in a social media tirade has been convicted and handed a fine.

Laleh Shahravesh will be allowed to leave the country after paying the Dh3,000 penalty. She will spend no time in jail.

The 55-year-old wrote abusive comments about her ex-husband's new wife Samah Al Hammadi, 42, from Tunisia, and ex-husband Pedro Manuel Coreia Dos Santos.

She attended a short hearing at Dubai Court of Misdemeanours on Thursday.

Afterwards, a senior court official told The National that Judge Mohamed Mustafa Ibrahim Khalil issued his decision, convicting her of a misdemeanour, having initially adjourned the case until next week.

A senior government official also confirmed the ruling had been issued.

Ms Shahravesh had a criminal complaint filed against her by Ms Al Hammadi and Mr Dos Santos in February 2017. Mr Dos Santos died of a heart attack last month aged 51.

Earlier on Thursday, defence lawyer Michel Chalhoub urged a judge to throw out the case and allow the two women to reconcile.

He said it should be resolved quickly given the international attention it has attracted.

The judge had said he would consider the request and asked Ms Shahravesh and Ms Al Hammadi's lawyer to return next week.

British tabloid journalists buzzed around the Dubai Courts building on Thursday, taking photos of Ms Shahravesh as she arrived and left, visibly upset, in a local taxi.

The mother-of-one has been on bail since her arrest at Dubai Airport last month.

The warrant for her arrest flashed up when she travelled through customs with her daughter on March 10. She said she was due to attend the funeral of her late husband.

Among the comments that Ms Shahravesh, described as British-Iranian in some reports, made, in Farsi, was translated as “I hope you go under the ground you idiot. Damn you. You left me for this horse”.

A second comment said “you married a horse you idiot.”

Ms Al Hammadi was not in court on Thursday but has told The National that she was willing to withdraw the complaint against her.

Updated: April 11, 2019 01:50 PM