Britons sentenced to jail in Dubai for beach sex
A Dubai court sentenced two Britons to three months in prison on Thursday and ordered their subsequent deportation for having sex on a beach in the booming Muslim Gulf emirate.
Michelle Palmer, 37, and Vince Acors, 34, were found guilty of having sex in a public place in the early hours of July 5 after drinking heavily.
The defence said it would appeal, although the relatively moderate ruling showed that they only committed an indecent act in public and did not actually have sex.
But the prosecution said there was evidence they did have sexual intercourse and that it might appeal the "light" sentence.
"The sentence is rather light. I expect the prosecution to appeal," a prosecution official told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity.
"The least they should have got is six months for the first charge (sex) and three months for the second (indecent act in public)," the official said.
Both Palmer, a publishing executive who has been sacked from her job following the case, and Acors, who was on holiday in Dubai, have been barred from leaving the UAE.
"No way" can there be a link between the sentence and their nationality, he said.
"The verdict shows that the judge was convinced that they did not have sexual intercourse but he punished them for the indecent act of kissing (in public)," Matar said.
Matar has insisted that the results of a medical test on Palmer just hours after they were arrested showed "she had not engaged in recent sexual intercourse," while the medical report for Acors was inconclusive.
The booming tourist hub is hugely popular with Britons, and is home to more than 120,000 Britons. It hosts hundreds of thousands of Western residents and tourists, but the city state still adheres to certain strict Islamic rules, and bans sex outside of marriage.