Court suspends prison term for couple found in ‘indecent act’

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A higher court has suspended for three years the decision of a lower court to sentence an Arab man and an Asian woman to a year in jail after they were found in a compromising position near the Sealine beach.

A policeman saw the couple and booked them. They were charged with indulging in indecent behaviour in public place. While they admitted they had an affair they denied having any physical relations.

The lower court nevertheless sentenced them to a year in jail and ordered that they be deported after serving the prison term.

The convict went in appeal and got married in the interim. The woman, a non-Muslim, converted to Islam and it was after that that she got married. She was pregnant when she appeared in the court of appeals during the hearings.

The higher court which heard the appeal suspended the verdict of the lower court for three years. Suspending a court verdict, according to the provisions of the laws in Qatar, means that if the convict or convicts repeat a violation in the specified duration the court decision would be executed.

In another case, a lower criminal court has penalised a grocery store for failing to prominently display the pricelist. A municipal inspector raided the shop and detected the violation. He took photographs to convince the court that the outlet violated civic and consumer rights-related regulations by not displaying the price list in a prominent manner.

The court imposed a fine of QR1,000 on the shop and issued a warning saying that it should not repeat the violation.

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