Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sun-burnt bits?

Don't get caught having sex out in the open on a beach in Dubai.

Get a room.

Isn't sex on the beach a drink?

Dubai 'sex on beach' woman Michelle Palmer: statement was in Arabic

Michelle Palmer, the British woman accused of having sex on a Dubai beach, has spoken out for the first time, pleading for help to prove her innocence so that she can return home.
Trembling and fighting back tears during a brief appearance at a Dubai court yesterday morning, Ms Palmer spoke to The Times through a friend, in an effort to counter “the lies” she says have been spread about her case.

Ms Palmer, 36, is forbidden to speak directly to the press before her verdict is handed down next Monday. However, she outlined her defence through a close friend, who held her hand throughout yesterday’s hearing and passed a two-page note to The Times.
Ms Palmer has previously denied prosecution claims that the couple were having sex on the beach, saying in an earlier court appearance that they were only “hugging and kissing”.

The note attempts to counter some press reports alleging that Ms Palmer insulted the policeman who arrested them, threw a shoe at him and ignored his earlier warning that the couple should leave the beach.
It claims that the couple were presented by prosecutors with transcripts of their interviews and statements in Arabic, which they were made to sign.

The note insists that there was never “any slur on Islam” or “any abuse/attack/hitting with shoe”. Nor had any caution been given before her arrest. It further states, contrary to reports, that the prosecution had genetic evidence of the couple having intercourse that “her DNA is negative”.

The stress of the case has pushed Ms Palmer to the brink: “She has been in hospital [suffering] from panic attacks, on antidepressants and stayed in hiding for seven weeks. She’s a paranoid, scared wreck due to false allegations printed and she’s lost the job she loves,” the note said, which was credited to “a close friend”.

Ms Palmer said she had been humiliated by false press reports detailing her alleged encounter with Vince Acors, who also appeared in court. Both remain free on bail but are barred from leaving the country. If convicted, they face up to six years in jail.
Ms Palmer, who was dismissed from her publishing job after her arrest, said that her ordeal has taken a tremendous toll: “Ninety per cent of what has been reported is untrue. This certainly has all been trial by media.”

In court yesterday the couple asked that their trial, which was scheduled for next month, be moved up so they could have closure and return to Britain. A judge adjourned their case until next Tuesday, when the prosecution is expected to call on the policeman who arrested the couple to testify.

Ms Palmer’s case captured headlines around the world this summer as a prime example of how Western values can clash with this conservative Gulf emirate’s laws. Public opinion in Dubai is against the couple, with both expatriates and Emiratis arguing that they should have respected local laws.

The case has highlighted the strong contrasts in the booming United Arab Emirates, particularly Dubai. The city has a much more freewheeling attitude than elsewhere in the Gulf, but it remains a conservative Arab nation.

Ms Palmer “remained confident” the court would find her innocent, but said she needed public support to help win her case. The note concludes with a plea: “They need help!”