Racy text messages land couple in jail

By Calvin Palmer

Racy text messages exchanged between two Emirates Airline cabin crew members landed the couple with a three-month prison sentence.

The then-married flight attendant, 42, and her male supervisor, 47, were convicted of “coercion to commit sin”.

The messages came to light as a result of a bitter divorce battle, which began in 2007, between the flight attendant and her husband.

The divorce court ordered Dubai’s telecommunications company, Etisalat, to produce the text messages after the husband accused his wife of an affair.

The text messages were provided in 2008, allowing the husband to file a “criminal complaint” against his wife.

The couple, both Indian, were sentenced in December to six months in prison to be followed by deportation. An appeals court last week reduced the jail time to three months and dropped the expulsion penalty.

The court ruling said there was not enough evidence to determine whether the couple had an affair, which would have likely brought a harsher sentence.

The court also handed a three-month jail sentence to the attendant’s sister for perjury, after she claimed she had been having the affair and had been using her sister’s telephone.

The attendant’s husband has since gained custody of the couple’s four-year-old son after the divorce was finalized.

Earlier this week, a British marketing consultant appealed a sentence handed down by the court for kissing his girlfriend in a restaurant last November.

Ayman Najafi, 24, and Charlotte Adams, 26, deny indecency charges, saying they pecked each other on the cheek as a greeting in the restaurant in the Jumeirah Beach Residence complex.

They were found guilty of public indecency, and sentenced to a month’s jail followed by deportation. They were freed on bail pending appeal.

At the appeal hearing on Sunday, Mr Najafi said the pair’s behavior had not been inappropriate.

“We kissed each other on the cheek as a greeting, nothing more,” he told Judge Aysar Fouad. Adams pointed at her cheek to show where contact had taken place.

The court reserved its verdict until April 4, renewing the couple’s bail but keeping their passports so that they cannot leave the United Arab Emirates.

The couple knew each other before they met up in Dubai, but both say they were not boyfriend and girlfriend.

Adams is an estate agent from north London.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press, AFP and The Daily Telegraph.]

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