A woman accused a policeman of raping her and later forgave and married him but he was still jailed for six months at Dubai Criminal Court on Tuesday.
The Emirati policeman, who worked at Dubai International Airport, was arrested after the woman told police that he forced himself on her during a drive in his car in March.
The 28-year-old was charged with raping the woman, an airline worker, but he denied it was rape and in court argued that they were legally married.
His defence lawyer, Eisa bin Hayder, said that the concept of marriage in Islam consists of three elements – proposal, acceptance and declaration - and all three had been met, which makes his client’s marriage to the woman valid, even though they had no marriage certificate. The lawyer said that such certificates, or contracts, were introduced only to organise social life by documenting marital relationships.
“My client took his family and proposed to her. She and her father accepted, then it was declared among both families and friends: this is a valid marriage. My client is innocent, he did not rape her, he had marital sex," said the lawyer.
The police officer met the woman in 2015 at the airport. The two became friends and he later told her he wanted to marry her.
In her testimony, the woman, whose age was not given, said she had previously been married and divorced.
“I told him everything about me and that I was married before, and he still wanted to marry me,” she had told police. “I told my mother about him and she asked that he came to our home to propose officially.”
Prosecutors said that, on the day of the crime, he picked her up in his car and they drove around before he parked in a residential area between some villas.
“He jumped onto my seat, removed my clothes and raped me,” the woman said in her original testimony.
“I was screaming. He told me I ‘could scream but no one would hear me’.”
She said he then drove her back to her car and she went straight to a police station to report the crime.
However, in court the woman told judges that the couple had reconciled.
“Yes, we got married, but when it happened, I was still his fiancee – not his wife. However, we reconciled and it’s all well now,” she said.
The court convicted the man and sentenced him to six months in jail, which would be a lenient sentence for rape and this suggests that the charge had been amended by the court to having consensual sex, though this information was not revealed.