By Calvin Palmer
A British woman is being held by authorities in the United Arab Emirates after admitting she committed adultery and faces the prospect of a jail sentenced followed by deportation.
Sally Antia, 43, was arrested as she left a Dubai hotel with a man. Appearing in a court in Dubai on Sunday, she confessed to cheating on her husband and paying to fly her lover from Britain to the United Arab Emirates. The 44-year-old man denied the charge.
The pair have had their passports confiscated.
It is understood that Antia’s husband, Vincent, 48, also believed to be British, informed the police of his suspicions this month.
The couple, originally from Liverpool, have been living in Dubai for more than a decade and have been married for 14 years. Mrs Antia is believed to have worked for a corporate entertainment company.
Her husband is believed to be bringing divorce proceedings and wants residency rights of the couple’s daughters.
Antia’s arrest comes one month after another British woman, Marnie Pearce, was released from a Dubai jail.
Pearce, 40, originally from Bracknell, Berkshire, was given a three-month sentence after a Dubai court found she had cheated on her Egyptian ex-husband Ihab El Labban — a charge she has denied.
The supply teacher lost custody of her sons, Laith, eight, and Ziad, four, in February and had faced deportation on her release from prison, but this has been put on hold while she fights to win back her children.
Tim Hancock, of Amnesty International, who campaigned for the release of Pearce, said yesterday: “Sally Antia should not be sent to prison. The sex lives of consenting adults simply shouldn’t be a criminal matter. She should be released, immediately and unconditionally.”
A spokeswoman for the Foreign Office said: “We can confirm a British national, Sally Antia, was arrested on May 2 for adultery and is currently being detained pending a court hearing expected in the next couple of weeks. Next of kin have been informed and we are providing consular assistance.”
The court hearing has been adjourned until next month.