Dubai Pardons Woman Facing Jail Over Rape Claim
But Marte Deborah Dalelv has lost job
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 22, 2013 6:55 AM CDT
Marte Deborah Dalelv.   (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

(Newser) – A Norwegian woman who reported she had been raped only to find herself sentenced to 16 months in a Dubai jail has been pardoned by the emirate's leader, Norwegian officials say. Marte Dalelv had been sentenced for having sex outside marriage and drinking alcohol; following Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum's pardon, "her passport has been returned to her," says a rep for Norway's foreign ministry. "She can remain in Dubai if she wishes." Not likely: She says she will head home "as soon as possible," AFP reports. Reuters notes that Dalelv had until today been staying at a Norwegian Christian center in Dubai pending an appeal.

The man she said raped her was a colleague; both were fired by their company, Al Mana Interiors, for "drinking alcohol at a staff conference that resulted in trouble with the police." The company—which is owned by Wissam al Mana, a Qatari billionaire who is also Janet Jackson's husband—says it initially supported her, CNN reports. "Only when Ms. Dalelv declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status, and ceased communication with her employer, was the company forced to end our relationship with her." The firm also denies a manager told her to claim the sex was consensual: The manager was just translating for police, the company says. (More on the alleged rape here.)