x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Man attacked sister-in-law, court told

A man assaulted his sister-in-law while his wife was in Mecca on pilgrimage, prosecutors said yesterday.

ABU DHABI // A man sexually assaulted his sister-in-law while his wife was in Mecca on pilgrimage, prosecutors said yesterday.

AA, an Emirati, appeared before the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance charged with having sex without consent and drinking alcohol.

Prosecutors accused him of attacking his sister-in-law during the Haj season this month.

AA pleaded not guilty to having non-consensual sex but admitted drinking alcohol.

Chief Justice Saeed Abdul Baseer asked him: "What is this that you have done?"

AA replied: "I did not do anything."

The chief justice insisted on an answer, saying: "You know what I am talking about."

When AA remained silent the chief justice cited the public prosecution's charges.

The court heard that AA lured his sister-in-law, SJ, to his room and threw her on the bed and attempted to have sex with her, prosecutors said.

"The defendant confessed to drinking alcohol four times," Chief Justice Abdul Baseer said.

The confession of alcohol consumption means the court will implement the Sharia punishment of 80 lashes unless he retracts the admission.

The chief justice then chastised AA for having sex outside marriage while his wife was worshipping.

Adultery is usually tried under Sharia, which requires the testimony of four reliable witnesses.

If Sharia standards are not met, a court must change the charge to either consensual sex or sex without consent and try the defendant under UAE law.

A defendant can be charged with non-consensual sex if there is insufficient evidence of rape.

In Sharia courts, married defendants face tougher sentences than unmarried ones. If convicted, AA would face a minimum of six months in prison.

The justices are to issue a verdict tomorrow.

 

hhassan@thenational.ae