x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Four jailed for desert gang rape are freed

Four men accused of gang raping a woman in the desert are cleared of kidnap and rape but convicted of consensual sex.

ABU DHABI // Four men jailed for gang-raping a woman in the desert have had their convictions quashed.

Omani KB, Saudi AR, and Emiratis KO and AS were were sentenced to three years for rape. KB and KO were given an extra six months for kidnap, and three further months for stealing from the victim, from Uzbekistan.

But the Appeals Court on Thursday threw out the convictions and instead found the men guilty of consensual sex, sentencing each to three months in prison. The Omani and Saudi will be deported after serving their terms.

The woman claimed she was gang-raped after she left a nightclub with one of the Emiratis.

She said that when she got into his car, the second Emirati appeared from the back seat and grabbed her hair before raping her.

She claimed the men took turns raping her and that once they reached an area of desert they met the Saudi and Omani, who joined in the attack.

The woman said they stole all her money and gave her Dh50 to get a taxi home.

A defence lawyer, Nashwa Al Kubaissy, said a forensic examination proved the woman had not been raped. She said the woman had initially accused six men, and asked why her story had changed.

Mrs Al Kubaissy said the woman pressed charges to blackmail the men into paying her money and withdrew her complaints later.

"Her tale is imaginary" Mrs Al Kubaissy said. "She said she was smoking a cigarette while being raped, but where did she acquire the cigarette? And why didn't she scream?"

 

hdajani@thenational.ae