A Norwegian woman sentenced to jail in Dubai after reporting that she had been raped has been pardoned and is free to leave the country, Norway’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday.
Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has ordered Marte Deborah Dalelv’s passport be returned to her and her 16-month sentence for having sex outside marriage and illegally drinking alcohol sentenced dropped, CNN reported.
Dalelv is free to travel where she wants and is allowed to remain in Dubai, ministry spokeswoman Ragnhild Imerslund said.
Dalelv, 24, claimed she was raped in March by a colleague after she asked him to escort her to her room at the end of a work event where they had both been drinking alcohol.
After reporting the incident to police she was held in a Dubai cell for four days and had her passport confiscated.
She had been living in Qatar and working for Al Mana Interiors, a Doha-based interior design business registered as a franchise of The ONE, the Dubai-based company owned by Swedish businessman Thomas Lundgren.
Dalelv was in Dubai for a short business trip in March when the alleged rape took place.
She was suspended from her position and on April 9 was fired by Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana, who secretly married Janet Jackson last year.
In a termination letter signed by Al Mana, Dalelv was told her employment was terminated “for misconduct and breach of your employment duties”.
The ministry spokeswoman said Dalelv had been pardoned following "very constructive" dialogue between the foreign ministers of Norway and the UAE, along with international pressure. The case had made headlines around the world.