Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Mice in a Maze

So we all thought we had 'Dubai Decency' figured: kissing is illegal, public displays of affection (known here as "PDAs") are illegal and can result in jail and deportation, hand holding is frowned upon but "tolerated" if the couple are married etc etc.  But now the Gulf News reports on a couple who've been acquitted of public indecency and they weren't just holding hands or wearing shorts in public, they were having %& in their car in a suburban street.  The trusty '7 Days' had a field day describing the 'frisky couple' as being caught 'romping' in, wait for it, their Honda Accord. Two door or four door? Thank goodness the couple is young and apparently flexible, anyone else would need a hip replacement after 'romping' in a little Accord.  Aside from having a good lawyer (1)Their car had tinted windows, (2) They'd put an umbrella across the windscreen and most important (3) The 'rompers' were married to each other.
Now if this happened in Auckland, the couple would have been arrested after first being beaten up by other drivers for hogging the parking place. 
As a poster on another board said, the decency laws are so hard to understand that Dubai residents are like "mice in a maze".
Source: Gulf News

Photo: Rubberball Photos

A court has acquitted a married couple of public indecency after their lawyer argued that their tinted car, in which a policeman caught them making love, was a private place.
The Dubai Appeals Court recently acquitted the Pakistani assistant manager and his wife of committing an indecent act in public.
The Appeals Court overturned the primary judgment of one month's jail followed by deportation after the couple's lawyer Dr Riyadh Al Kabban argued that the policeman could not see them committing an indecent act in public since they were inside their car when he sneaked up on them at Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR).
According to the chargesheet, prosecutors had charged the husband, 28, and his wife, 24, of public indecency, by having sexual intercourse in their car at JBR's public parking.
"The policeman breached my clients' rights and privacy and he didn't have the right [as a law enforcement officer] to peep inside the car without obtaining a permission from Dubai Public Prosecution. He testified before the Dubai Misdemeanors Court that he could not see the indecent public act because the car was fully tinted and had an umbrella at the windshield… he also claimed that he failed two times to see what was happening inside the car due to the tinting. When he failed to see the car's inside, he knocked at the window and saw the husband naked when the latter opened the window partly," argued Dr Al Kabban.
Charge dropped
Prosecutors dropped the charge of having consensual sex against the couple after they produced their marriage contract. They were only charged with public indecency.
The policeman testified during prosecution questioning that he was standing nine cars away from the defendants' fully-tinted vehicle when he noticed something suspicious inside the vehicle at around 9:00pm. He told prosecutors that he had to peep into the car because the tint and a windshield shade prevented him from seeing inside.
"That behaviour by itself is a breach of human rights and a clear violation of my clients' privacy… it's as if he walked into the couple's bedroom and caught them making love. Law enforcement procedures were carried out unlawfully against my clients. They were illegitimately arrested and without a warrant. According to article 53 of the Criminal Procedures Law, a private car is deemed private property, hence the policeman should have obtained a prosecutors' warrant to search and look into the car… what he did is considered a clear violation of my clients' privacy and rights," argued the advocate.
The lawyer asked the appeals court to cancel the deportation order and acquit the couple of the charges.
The Appeals Court judgment remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within three weeks.
Defence argument
According to the primary judgment sheet, the Misdemeanors Court considered that the couple was caught red-handed committing an indecent act in public. Dr Al Kabban countered that argument before the Appeals Court and based his defence on the fact that the car's full tint and the windshield shade made it a private and not a public place.
"The policeman should have obtained a written prosecutor's warrant to search the car… otherwise this will allow any law enforcement officer to walk into private places without a warrant," argued the lawyer.

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