x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Emirati says marriage to Uzbek not fake

The lawyer of a man charged with forging a marriage certificate and living with a woman out of wedlock insists in court that the marriage was legal.

DUBAI // The lawyer of a man charged with forging a marriage certificate and living with a woman out of wedlock insisted in court yesterday that the marriage was legal. HK, 32, an Emirati businessman, and SA, 30, a woman from Uzbekistan, were arrested at the home they shared on January 29, 2008, after he called police and told them she had stolen his collection of watches. When officers arrived and questioned the legitimacy of their relationship, SA produced a marriage certificate that was found to be fake.

The pair were charged with using a forged official document as well as having consensual sex out of wedlock. They are alleged to have changed the name and other details on a marriage contract between HK and his ex-wife, which dated back to 2000. HK's lawyer said yesterday at the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance that his client had intended for the marriage to be "a secret" and had even introduced his "wife" to people as a "friend". He told the court the marriage certificate was genuine.

At an earlier hearing in August, SA's lawyer, Yusri Saad, said the saleswoman had been conned into believing she was married to HK after signing what she believed was a genuine marriage contract. She had been under the impression since 2006 that their marriage was legitimate, that she therefore could not be guilty of having sex out of wedlock, the court heard. "The fact of the matter is that she was conned into sleeping with him," Mr Saad said at that hearing.

The case was adjourned to March 2, when a verdict is expected. amustafa@thenational.ae