- Norwegian Marte Deborah Dalelv was in Dubai on a business trip when she was raped
- She reported the rape to police but was then charged herself for having sex outside of marriage
- She has now been sentenced to 16 months in prison
- Six weeks after reporting the rape her employment at Qatari billionaire Wissam Al Mana’s interior design firm was terminated
- Company strongly denies firing her because of the rape allegations
- Al Mana married Janet Jackson last year after they met in 2010
PUBLISHED: 23:03 EST, 20 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:58 EST, 21 July 2013
Janet Jackson’s husband, Wissam Al Mana, has been accused of firing a female employee from his interior design firm after she reported being raped in Dubai and was then thrown in prison for having extramarital sex.
A spokesman for the Qatari billionaire’s company, Al Mana Interiors, strongly denied the claims from Marte Deborah Dalelv, saying instead its representatives were ‘by her side’ throughout the ‘ordeal’ and that the firm was forced to let her go after she ‘declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status.’
The Norwegian 24-year-old was sentenced to 16 months in prison this week for having sex outside of marriage after she was raped by a co-worker in March during a business trip to Dubai.
Boss: Billionaire Wissam Al Mana, managing director of Al Mana Interiors, pictured right with wife Janet Jackson, signed off on a termination letter firing Marte Deborah Dalelv for ‘improper behavior’
Dalelv reported the sexual assault to police but instead of helping her they arrested her and took her passport away. Her rapist was sentenced to three months less prison time than she got.
According to Verdens Gang, three weeks after she reported the crime Dalelv was suspended from her job. Three weeks after that she got a termination letter, signed off by Al Mana himself.
‘Further to the suspension letter notified to you on 20th March 2013, we hereby inform you that you employment with Al Mana Interiors W.L.L. is terminated for misconduct and breach of your employment duties, effective immediately,’ the letter reads.
Norwegian businesswoman Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, has been sentenced to 16 months in prison for extramarital sex after she reported being raped
‘… your employment agreement is terminat(ed) due to your unacceptable and improper behavior during your last business trip in Dubai, which has resulted in your arrest by the Police Authorities in UAE.’
On Saturday, Al Mana Interiors claimed it was forced to let Dalelv go after she ‘declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status’ and not because of the rape.
‘We are sympathetic to Marte Dalelv during this very difficult situation,’ the statement reads.
‘Al Mana Interiors has repeatedly offered Marte support and company representatives were by her side throughout the initial investigation and police interviews, and spent days at both the police station and the prosecutor’s office to help win her release.
‘Company representatives have been supportive and in communication with Marte throughout her ordeal. Only when Ms. Dalelv declined to have positive and constructive discussions about her employment status, and ceased communication with her employer, was the company forced to end our relationship with her. The decision had nothing to do with the rape allegation, and unfortunately neither Ms. Dalelv nor her attorneys have chosen to contact the company to discuss her employment status.
‘We continue to be open to helping Ms. Dalelv and extending her resources during the Dubai legal process. We are hopeful that we can resume a positive discussion about the assistance she needs during this difficult time.’
Dalelv reported the sexual assault in March, after which she had to spend days in a cell before she was allowed to use a telephone.
With the help of family members, the Norwegian consulate was able to negotiate a release and she has been living under the protection of the Norwegian Sailor’s Church until her sentencing this week.
Waiting game: Marte Deborah Dalelv, pictured in Dubai, faces an uncertain future as Norway doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Dubai
Dalelv claims she was fired from her position with Al Mana Interiors – which is owned by Janet Jackson’s husband, Wissam Al Mana – during the ordeal
‘I received the harshest sentence for sex outside marriage, harshest sentence for drinking alcohol and on top of that I was found guilty of perjury,’ she told Verdens Gang.
‘It is a terrible situation she is in,’ said Gisle Meling, the priest at the Norwegian Sailor’s Church.
‘We are very surprised and had hoped it would go another way, but we live in a country which has a justice system which draws its conclusions with the help of Sharia law.’
Dalelv was sentenced to one year and four months in jail but as Norway has no extradition treaty with Dubai, her future is uncertain.
Janet Jackson married the Qatari billionaire in a secret ceremony last year. The pair have been together for three years after meeting in 2010.
The young Norwegian woman’s horror story is not unique.
Earlier this year Australian Alicia Gali, 27, spoke of how she was thrown in a Dubai jail for eight months after she reported a rape.
Dark side: Having been detained in Dubai since the assault in March, Ms Dalelv has now been found guilty of sex outside marriage, drinking alcohol without a licence and perjury and was jailed for 16 months
Gali was working at hotel chain Starwood when her drink was spiked in the staff bar.
She awoke to find that three colleagues had raped her, but when she went to a hospital for help, they turned her over to the police and she was charged with illicit sex outside marriage.
Under UAE law, rapists can only be convicted if either the perpetrator confesses or if four adult Muslim males witness the crime.
Under the Sharia-influenced laws, sex before marriage is completely forbidden and an unmarried couple holding hands in public can be jailed.
Foreigners jailed in Dubai are deported immediately after completing their sentences.
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