Qatar hands suspended sentence to Dutch woman who made rape complaint

DOHA (AFP) - A Doha court on Monday (June 13) convicted a Dutch woman of adultery and handed her a one-year suspended sentence after she reported being raped while on holiday in Qatar.

The 22-year-old woman, known only as Laura and who was not in court, was also fined 3,000 Qatari riyals (S$1,118) and will be deported once she pays the fine, court officials said.

The male defendant, also not in court, was given a sentence of 100 lashes for adultery and 40 lashes for consuming alcohol.

He will not serve any time in jail. The Dutch ambassador to Qatar Yvette Burghgraef-van Eechoud, who was present in court, told reporters the embassy would help Laura leave Qatar.

"We will do everything to get her out of the country as soon as possible to where she wants to go," said Eechoud.

The envoy added that she expected Laura to leave Qatar within the next few days.

Laura was arrested on March 14 and has since been held in custody.

Her lawyer previously said that the incident happened after she had visited a Doha hotel.

"She went dancing but when she returned to the table after the first sip of her drink, she realised that" she had been drugged, Brian Lokollo has said.

"She really didn't feel very well," he added.

The young woman remembers nothing more until the following morning when she woke up in a totally unfamiliar apartment "and realised to her great horror, that she had been raped," he said.

The male defendant had insisted that their night together had been consensual and that the woman had even asked for money.