Pattaya Daily News

15 March 2010 :: 13:03:58 pm 15723

British Pair Imprisoned in Dubai Over Greeting Kiss

A 24-year old British marketing consultant living in Dubai and a real estate agent from North London were sentenced to one month in a Middle Eastern prison on Sunday. The pair are alleged to have kissed on the cheek in public at a popular Dubai restaurant last November.
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Dubai, the 14th of March 2010 [Pattaya Daily News]: Mr. Ayman Najafi [24] and British national living in Dubai as a marketing consultant and Miss Charlotte Adams [25] also a British national believed to have been holidaying from her job as a real estate agent in North London were arrested in Dubai on a variety of minor charges. The pair have subsequently been sentenced to a month’s prison following an appeal hearing on Sunday.

At the hearing in Dubai’s Appeals Court the offenders informed the magistrate that they were victims of a “huge misunderstanding,” stating that they were merely friends sharing a greeting kiss as is customary in most European countries. “We kissed each other on the cheek as a greeting, nothing more,” Mr Najafi told Judge Aysar Fouad. Miss Adams pointed at her cheek to show where contact had taken place.

The incident took place at “Bob’s Easy Diner” at the Jumeirah Beach Residence complex in Dubai. The offenders had met with four other friends for a relaxing dinner, when police were called at approximately 2:00am. The police were responding to a report filed by an Emirati national who had been dinning at the same restaurant with her daughter. The woman claimed that the British pair were touching and kissing inappropriately in front of the entire restaurant. She further stated that her daughter had become very upset at the display of affection, prompting her to call the police.

“My daughter told me that the accused were kissing on the mouth,” she said. “Then I spotted them doing so myself. I also saw them touching each other, as they were seated two to three metres away from our table. A number of customers witnessed the scene as well.”

After being arrested, the two were tested for alcohol and shown to have been drinking, though the readings of 0.022 blood alcohol concentration are less than the drink-driving limit in Britain and most of Europe.

The pair’s pleas of not guilty were rejected by the magistrate, who accordingly sentenced them both to a month’s prison followed by deportation. In conjunction the pair were also fined 1000 Dirham (8,800 baht) each for public intoxication, which is considered a crime in the United Arab Emirates despite such a low blood alcohol reading.

This is not the first British case of this nature to fall foul of the strict laws in the conservative Muslim state. Last year Michelle Palmer, 36, and Vince Acors, 34, were sentenced to three months imprisonment for having sex on a beach.

Reporter : John Weston   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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