Dubai: A businessman, who was convicted of raping a job-seeker during a fake job interview, won his appeal on Monday and had his death sentence reduced to five years in jail.
In July, the Dubai Court of First Instance found the 45-year-old Iraqi, H.A., guilty of rape and handed him a death sentence.
Citing grounds of leniency, the appellate court reduced the death sentence to five years in jail. The accused will be deported after serving his jail term.
Prosecutors said the accused lured the Egyptian job-seeker to a fake job interview and raped her in an apartment, which he claimed to be his company’s office
Records said the 45 year old posted an advertisement for a secretary in an Arabic newspaper. When the 30-year-old jobseeker turned up at the flat, H.A. pushed her on a desk and raped her.
Meanwhile the defendant maintained they had consensual sex.
H.A. said before the appeal court that when they argued over the money, she fought with him and complained that he raped her.
The woman testified that the incident happened shortly after she came to Dubai on a visit visa. When she called the phone number in the advertisement, she was given an address for the interview.
She said: “I needed the job desperately due to my financial situation. I called him the first time, but he asked me to call him later because he was busy. I called him again and he asked me to come for the interview. When I entered the flat around 1.30pm, he closed the door behind him.
“He started to sweet-talk [me] and told me my eyes were beautiful. I replied that I had come for work and nothing else. When I wanted to leave, he pushed me on the desk and raped me,” she told prosecutors.
Prosecution records said the woman took the bus back to the apartment where she was staying with a number of women. She told her roommate what happened and she advised her to lodge a complaint.
Dubai Police’s forensic report confirmed that traces of DNA on the woman’s clothes matched those of the defendant.
Dubai prosecutors are expected to appeal Monday’s judgment and ask Dubai’s highest court to apply the toughest punishment applicable.
The judgment remains subject to appeal before the Cassation Court within 30 days.