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Dubai: A British woman pointed to her cheeks in court Sunday, contending that she and her compatriot man kissed on the cheeks and not on the lips in a restaurant.

“We greeted each other and kissed on the cheeks…,” argued the 25-year-old British woman with her right finger pointed at her right cheek when she defended herself at the Dubai Appeals Court.

The 24-year-old British man, who works in Dubai, told Presiding Judge Aysar Fouad that they kissed on the cheeks in a ‘welcome and greeting manner’ and denied kissing the woman on her lips.

Prosecutors have charged the British couple with kissing and touching each other intimately and having liquor.

The two pleaded not guilty and strongly refuted the kissing charge and admitted that they had liquor.

Their lawyer Khalaf Al Hosani defended that his clients did not kiss on the lips but on their cheeks without having any criminal intention.

“Your honour, my clients willingly admitted that they kissed in a welcoming and greeting manner. They kissed on the cheeks without having any intention to break the law. It’s something in their culture to kiss on cheeks as a greeting. The Emirati woman, who claimed she saw them kissing on the lips, gave an inconsistent statement. Her statement at the police contradicted the one she gave to prosecutors,” contended Al Hosani.

Presiding Judge Fouad extended the bail of the couple, whose passports are confiscated and cannot travel.

The Dubai Misdemeanors Court had sentenced the Britons to one month in jail followed by deportation for kissing and touching at a restaurant in Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR). They were also fined Dh1,000 each for consuming alcohol.

Submitting his verbal and written defence, Al Hosani said in a courtroom packed with reporters: “Eventually my clients were detained after the Emirati woman claimed she saw them in an indecent, intimate situation… the claimant told the police that she saw them lip-kissing. Later she altered her statement and told prosecutors that her children saw the suspects. We pointed out to the Public Prosecution that she gave a contradicting statement. Prosecutors could not reach her to come and give a second statement because her number was disconnected. Thereafter, the prosecutor referred my clients to court.”

Al Hosani asked the Appeal’s three-judge panel to acquit his clients. He also revealed that he has defence witnesses. He also requested a lenient punishment concerning the charge of consuming liquor.

The Britons were asked to remain in court for a while until Presiding Judge Fouad agreed to extend their bail and adjourned the case until April 4 to pronounce a verdict.

Court records said the 38-year-old Emirati woman testified that she spotted the woman walking into the restaurant along with four men.

“My daughter told me that the accused were kissing on the mouth. 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,” stated the Emirati woman.

A forensic laboratory report showed that the defendants had 22mg/dl of alcohol in their blood.

Are you aware of the UAE’s decency laws? What is the best way to educate residents and tourists?