x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Couple who kept child secret for eight years appear in Dubai court legally married

Couple in Dubai face charges that include endangering their daughter's life kept her hidden so they would not be arrested for having sex outside of marriage, a court hears.

DUBAI // A couple who kept their eight-year-old love child hidden from the outside world so they would not be arrested for having sex outside of marriage have appeared in court legally married.

KD, 24, an Emirati ex-Armed Forces employee, and his Russian lover MZ, 29, presented a legal and authenticated marriage contract to the Misdemeanours Court, where they face charges that include endangering their child's life.

Previously the court heard they had prevented the eight-year-old from going to school or to the doctor so that authorities would not learn of her existence. This meant she did not get the usual vaccinations.

They admitted a charge of sex-outside marriage, but denied endangering their daughter's life, saying they had raised her well and taken good care of her.

The child was delivered at the father's home in Bur Dubai with the assistance of his brother.

Prosecutors said police discovered the child's plight on March 4 this year after a tip off from a member of the public.

The mother said she arrived in the country in 2001 and worked in a furniture shop before meeting the Emirati at a nightclub a year later and falling in love.

She lived with him at his home in Al Safa until 2003 when she fell pregnant by him. "I delivered at home, with his help to cut the umbilical cord with a scissors, I didn't go to any hospital," she recalled, adding that the Emirati's family believed the pair were married.

She said she had often asked the Emirati to marry her but that he would stall whenever she did so.

"We are connected by love," she said.

The father admitted that his daughter had asked him several times to send her to a school, but they ignored the request.

The mother was also charged with overstaying her visa.

She asked for bail but was refused.

A verdict is expected on July 16.

salamir@thenational.ae