26 November 2008

Maybe Not

In my last post I said that the tribulations of the infamous Brits were over. Well, maybe not. A recent article in Gulf News indicates that the prosecution may yet appeal the ruling that suspended their three month jail term and 1000 dirham fine.

"The Criminal Rulings Execution Section will refer the case to the Cassation's Public Prosecution, sources from whom, told Gulf News that they will study the verdict reasons after having them typed and decide whether there are any legal grounds to appeal the verdict. "

In a further twist to this international soap opera, the couple told the court that they were going to get married.

"The couple had earlier handed the court the written undertaking in which they explained that they started their marriage procedures in Dubai. However, they failed to obtain certain documents, which they vowed (in the undertaking) they will submit after they get a marriage approval from a church in London. "

How do you say "shotgun wedding" in Arabic?

25 November 2008

Finally Over

The Dubai Appeals Court has finally ruled on Michelle and Vince's conviction for smooching in the sand. Their 3 month prison sentence has been suspended. They have to pay 1000 dirhams and are deported.

Why this wasn't done months ago is a mystery to me.

14 November 2008

Safety on the Job

The following quote from a story in the Gulf News should send fear into all expat construction supervisors and engineers.

Consultant engineers and contractors are responsible for overall safety in a construction project throughout the implementation period and thereafter, according to the prevailing laws and local order in this regard as per the Safety Manual for Construction Works.

This means that I, as an engineer on a construction project, could be held liable for an accident on the construction site. Given the appalling lack of safety on Dubai's construction projects and the frequency of accidents resulting in fatality, this causes to think whether the risk of working in Dubai is worth it. Typically, the engineer has little control over the day to day safety on a construction site. Contractors often take short cuts or modify plans without the engineers knowledge. I, for one, do not plan to spend any time in al Slammer. Now, where is that hold harmless clause again?

10 November 2008

Kohail Confusion

The press has conflicting reports concerning the courts decision about Canadian citizen Mohammed Kohail’s appeal on his murder conviction. Some Canadian newspapers say that the appeal was rejected. But, according to Arab News, the Canadian embassy has issued a statement that “no official ruling has yet been rendered”. In any case, it is bound to be a sticky issue for Canada and Saudi Arabia.

07 November 2008

Guns, Guns, Guns

Seabee over at "Life in Dubai" kicked over a hornets nest with his recent post about Obama. The comment section turned into a web based discussion for the 2nd Amendment. I won't try to continue that discussion. However, I want to point out that Emiratis have a fascination with firearms as well. When I am in Dubai, I frequent the Jebel Ali Shooting Club and the Saharjah Shooting Club. Both places have indoor pistol ranges and organized competitions. I can't count the number of times times I have seen Emiratis trying to shoot the .357 magnum at Sharjah. Usually, they can't control the power and have difficulty hitting the target. I think the attraction for it is the macho factor of shooting a big handgun and the big "boom". Myself, I prefer accuracy and would rather put 8 shots in the 10 ring and a double tap to the head.

Saudi Appeals Court Upholds Death Sentence

In a blow to Canadian Mohammud Kohail, the Saudi appeals court has upheld his sentence for murder. The story is here. His younger brother is also to be re-tried and could face the death penalty. It is not clear how quickly the courts will act on the verdict on Mohammud. It appears that only a pardon by the King can save him.

04 November 2008

Head Count

Saudi Arabia played a little catch up and executed 13 last month. One was a rapist and the rest were for drug charges and murder. This brings the year to date total to 84, not quite on track to equal last years record head count.

In other news, the fate of the Canadian Kohail brothers, currently in jail for murder, is still in question. There has been no news about their appeal.