x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Kissing couple lose appeal against jail

They were also each fined Dh1,000 for illegally consuming alcohol and will be deported after serving their sentences.

DUBAI // A British couple sentenced to a month in prison for kissing in a restaurant have lost their first appeal. A N, 24, a marketing executive, and CA, a 25-year-old female tourist, had their January convictions upheld by the Dubai Court of Appeals yesterday for committing a public sexual act in a Jumeirah Beach Residence diner. They were also each fined Dh1,000 (US$272) for illegally consuming alcohol and will be deported after serving their sentences.

Speaking in Arabic to a packed courtroom, the presiding appeals court judge, Aysar Fouad, simply stated their appeal was denied and the lower court's ruling was upheld, before moving on to the next case. The pair, who appeared confused by the quick verdict, and their defence lawyer led them outside of the courtroom to break the news to them. The defence lawyer, Khalaf al Hosani, later said AN would be launching a final appeal with the Dubai Court of Cassation, in a statement read by an assistant to reporters.

Mr al Hosani did not reveal on what grounds the second appeal would be filed, saying only that he wanted to scutinise the appellate court ruling. The pair, who have been free on bail, are now required to turn themselves over authorities to begin serving their sentences. Mr al Hosani said CA plans to do so immediately so she can leave the UAE as quickly as possible. The pair were arrested after an Emirati woman filed a complaint on November 28 with Jebel Ali police claiming the couple were kissing and touching each other in a sexual manner in front of her children at Bob's Diner.

The court adjourned his case until April 18. @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae