A closer examination of Marte Deborah Dalelv Dubai sex case reveals that even after the decision to pardon her, this remains a complex case filled with ambiguities and unanswered questions.
One thing, though, is clear – agreed on not just by the authorities and the police, but by the woman herself: legally, this was not a rape case. According to the transcript, Ms Dalelv made the initial complaint of rape early on March 7. A resident of Qatar, she had flown to Dubai for a business meeting, where she spent a night at a nightclub with colleagues from her company in Qatar, including HM, 33, a Sudanese man, married with three children.
In her own words, according to the prosecution, Marte Deborah Dalelv said:
I told police he raped me while I was still under the influence of alcohol, but I then changed that and I confirm that he did not rape me, but had sex with me with my consent.
In that one sentence, she admitted to not just extramarital sex and to be under influence of alcohol, but also making a false report, again an offence that automatically carries a prison term.
I had three glasses of vodka, one mojito and a beer while we were at the club, and I asked HM to protect me from molestation attempts.
In Ms Dalelv’s account, she asked HM to take her to her room, but he suggested they stay in his so that he could wake her in time for a morning business meeting.
Photographs from the hotel’s closed-circuit TV camera, which were produced in court, show Ms Dalelv entering HM’s room with her arm around his waist in one shot, and resting her head on his shoulder in another.
In her account, she then removed her clothes except for her underwear and slept in the bed with HM on a sofa.
Her account stated she woke up at 7.30am “feeling pain”, with the man on top of her body having sex with her.
Ms Dalelv says she screamed at her attacker when he went to wash himself, then went to reception where the police were called.
She claims that the officers were all male, that she was given a medical examination for evidence of rape, tested for alcohol and then held in custody for three days.
The account of HM – who has also been pardoned after being sentenced to a year in prison for sex outside of marriage – contests that Ms Dalelv tried to seduce him by rubbing her body against his and making “intimate noises”.
He says in his statement that following sex and after washing himself:
I found her crying and asking me why I had raped her.