x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Judge issues 'lenient' sentence to Palestinian sex pair

A son whose father threatened to lash him for having sex out of wedlock is cleared of the offence.

ABU DHABI // Two young Palestinians accused of having sex outside of marriage were given what a judge called a lenient sentence yesterday because the situation in their homeland meant they could not be deported.

AF and the female high school student RA, who is over the age of 18, initially confessed to charges of sex outside of wedlock, but the charge was later changed to a less serious one of "beautifying the sin" after the judge ascertained that no penetration had occurred.

Chief Justice Sayed Abdul Baseer of the Criminal Court fined the pair Dh1,000 each and told them this was a lenient sentence.

"I need to explain to you that we were quite lenient with our verdict because you are both Palestinian and we have instructions to be lenient regarding deportation," the chief justice said.

He said that a lighter sentence was appropriate because no penetration had taken place.

Leniency was also due to their young ages and their decision to get married three days after the contact took place.

The judge said that had the pair been tried for consensual sex they would have faced prison sentences of six months, followed by deportation.

The judge praised the father of AF, who during a previous court hearing had warned his son that if did not swear on the Quran that he had not had sex with RA he would "lash him at home".

hdajani@thenational.ae