x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Syrian to appeal over prostitution conviction

A Syrian man yesterday said that he would appeal against his sentence of a year in prison and deportation for prostitution-related charges.

ABU DHABI // A Syrian man yesterday said that he would appeal against his sentence of a year in prison and deportation for prostitution-related charges, filed after he had been cleared of counterfeiting. HR and HD, both Syrian, were sentenced last week in the Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance. HD was charged with operating a brothel; both were charged with having illicit sex. HR said he would appeal, but that HD had left the country.

An Uzbek woman accused of working in the brothel and having sex with both men received the same sentence. "The first charges of counterfeiting were dropped, and now these new charges are laid on them with no proof," Syed Abo Zahra, the defence lawyer, told the court last month. The pair were initially held on counterfeiting charges after police found Dh90,000 (US$25,000) in cash during a raid of HR's car repair shop in April.

They remained in custody for 70 days, but the banknotes were found to be genuine. The men were released on bail and appeared in court on July 21, when the new charges were filed. newsdesk@thenational.ae