Dubai: A mosque imam and a student, whose wedding rituals were conducted over Skype, have been accused of adultery after the student’s father claimed she was raped.
The Pakistani imam, 39, was said to be in his homeland in the company of witnesses and a mazoun (marriage official), who officiated the marriage rituals on Skype with the student, 19, who was in Dubai.
Records show that the girl’s father complained to the police, accusing the imam of raping his daughter at a date three months after that mentioned in the marriage contract.
Dubai prosecutors dismissed the charge of rape against the imam and accused him and the student of having consensual sex. The couple was referred to the Dubai Misdemeanor Court despite admitting that they were married during police and prosecution questioning.
When the imam appeared before court, he pleaded not guilty.
He told the judge: “Yes sir, I slept with my wife. We are married upon an official marriage contract.”
Documents supporting wedding
His lawyer Rashid Tahlak told the judge: “My client and the girl married via Skype in the presence of witnesses and a marriage official on March 16. The mazoun heard the girl’s consent. Their marriage is legitimate and in accordance with Pakistanis laws. My client notarised the marriage contract with Pakistani authorities and the UAE Embassy before he came to Dubai. Three days later, the student signed on the contract which was also notarised here. Having got married, the defendants have the full religious and legal right to sleep with each other. Yet prosecutors, baselessly and groundlessly, charged them with having consensual sex in June 2012.”
On June 18, the girl’s father complained to the police that the imam had raped his daughter, the lawyer said.
“The girl’s father hates my client and didn’t want him to marry his daughter. He has been against this marriage because he believes that my client is poor and wants to conquer his properties. Although the father accused my client of raping his daughter, but during prosecution questioning, he admitted that he was aware about their marriage. He maliciously claimed that his daughter was enchanted and under some sort of spell… but when police raided my client’s residence, they found papers with religious writings on them related to his job as mosque imam,” Tahlak said.
The lawyer criticised the girl’s father for lodging the rape complaint two days after the imam travelled to Pakistan on June 16.
“Why would he report the alleged rape incident after two days? The father fabricated this whole incident. What exposes and verifies his malicious intention is that he failed to bring his daughter to be questioned by prosecutors,” Tahlak argued.
The presiding judge refused to accept a civil lawsuit produced by the father’s legal representative.
The trial continues and the court is scheduled to hear the girl’s plea later this month.