x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 13 December 2017

Hotel executive who had abortion gets jail term

The South African woman is also ordered to be deported by the Sharjah Criminal Court of First Instance after serving her prison term.

SHARJAH // A hotel executive who had an abortion when she became pregnant after sleeping with a hotel guest was yesterday sentenced to six months in jail.

MB, 25, from South Africa, was also ordered to be deported by the Sharjah Criminal Court of First Instance after serving her prison term. She had faced a maximum penalty of 100 lashes and up to five years in prison.

She was arrested after she checked into a Sharjah hospital haemorrhaging on September 7.

MB told prosecutors that she met an American guest at the Dubai hotel where she was employed and he invited her for an evening out. She said they had sex, and she never saw him again.

Prosecutors charged MB with committing zina - the Sharia offence of sex outside marriage - and aborting a four-month-old foetus. Her lawyer, Harun Tahlak, had argued that she should be freed because the legal requirements to convict her had not been met.

He also dismissed the abortion charge, saying the prosecution had not provided a legal doctor's examination report as proof.

Mr Tahlak urged the court to be lenient with his client, a non-Muslim who he said had little prior knowledge of Sharia.

The woman told prosecutors that after she discovered she was pregnant a friend gave her six pills to terminate her pregnancy. Mr Tahlak said MB had served 113 days of her 132-day sentence.

 

amustafa@thenational.ae