Dubai court upholds teen rape case verdict

7th April 2008, Comments 0 comments

A court in Dubai on Monday upheld 15-year jail terms handed down against two Emiratis for raping a French-Swiss teenage boy.

   DUBAI, April 7, 2008 - A court in Dubai on Monday upheld 15-year jail terms handed down against two Emiratis for raping a French-Swiss teenage boy,
the victim's lawyer said in a case that has attracted worldwide media interest.
   "The high court confirmed the judgements of the Court of First Instance and
the appeal court," Hussein al-Jaziri told AFP, adding the men would now begin
serving their sentences.
   Monday's ruling confirmed a February 17 appeal court decision to uphold the
sentences. Prosecutors in the wealthy Gulf emirate had called for the death
penalty.
   A juvenile convicted in the same case lost an appeal against his three-year
sentence on Sunday, but could still appeal to a higher court, Jaziri said.
   One of the men who raped the 15-year-old was HIV-positive, although the
victim has since been tested and found not to be infected with the sexually
transmittable disease.
   The boy's mother, Veronique Robert, launched a media campaign to publicise
the case and gain support for her demand that the UAE recognise homosexual
rape in its legal system and set up institutions to treat AIDS sufferers.
   She protested at the original verdict against the two convicted men, saying
that "15 years is nothing for someone who knew he had AIDS."
   Three males offered the victim a lift from a Dubai mall last July 14 but
then drove into the desert where the teenager was raped while being threatened
with a knife and a billiard cue.
   Defence lawyers claimed the victim had consented to sex and had lied to the
Emirati authorities.
   The case was widely reported in the Western media and dented the liberal
image of Dubai, part of the UAE federation, as a regional leisure and business
hub.

AFP 

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