x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Landlord raped debtor's sister-in-law, court hears

The man insists on pleading guilty, although the justices are warning him that doing so means death by stoning.

ABU DHABI // A man denied today before a court he kidnapped his sister-in-law from Fujairah so she could be raped by a landlord to whom he owed payments.

Although the Sharia-mandated punishment for adultery is stoning, the landlord, RS, insisted on his confession, saying he wanted to be a lesson for others. 

ShS, from Bangladesh, was accused of kidnapping his sister-in-law from her home in Fujairah and forcing her to have sex with another Bengali, RK, on December 23. Sh S allegedly held her in a room in Bani Yas for three days before she managed to escape.

The landlord raped her five times, the court heard.

The victim told the court the man had sex with her while both her brother-in-law and his wife were watching. In his confession to prosecutors, ShS said he begged the landlord to release her, but he refused. He said he did not watch her being raped; he was in the same room, but there was a curtain dividing it. 

"In his confession, the man said he had sex with you with your consent," Chief Justice Saeed Abdul Baseer said to the victim. 

She denied it, saying she would not have reported the incident if that were the case. 

The court-appointed lawyer, Syed Abo Zahra, said forensic tests showed no signs of rape or even sex. 

She told prosecutors she bit him in his face when the man tried to rape her, but the lawyer said forensic tests refuted the claim. 

Mr Abo Zahra said her testimony to prosecutors and judges was inconsistent, noting that she told prosecutors he raped her six times, not five. 

The court's chief justice asked RS whether he would retract his confession. RS insisted he had sex with her, despite the judges' attempts to change his mind to avoid the Sharia punishment of stoning to death, mandatory because he was a married Muslim.

But he told the court he stood by his testimony.

The judges will issue their verdict on March 29. 

hhassan@thenational.ae