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Dubai pardons woman at center of rape dispute

Agencies | Updated: 2013-07-22 18:34

Dubai pardons woman at center of rape dispute

Norwegian interior designer Marte Deborah Dalelv, 24, who reported being raped, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the Norwegian Seamen's Center in Dubai, July 21, 2013. Dalelv, who was sentenced to 16 months in prison in Dubai for illicit sex after she reported being raped, says she has no regrets about coming forward if her warning will protect others from a similar fate. Picture taken July 21, 2013.[Photo/Agencies]

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A Norwegian woman at the center of a Dubai rape claim dispute says she has been pardoned and is free to leave the country.

Marte Deborah Dalelv told The Associated Press she was given back her passport Sunday by the public prosecutor's office and that her 16-month sentence for having sex outside marriage has been dropped.

The 42-year-old Dalelv claimed she was raped in March by a co-worker, but she was charged with the sex offense after going to police in Dubai in a case that highlighted the clash between the city's Western-friendly atmosphere and its Islamic-based legal codes.  

Her sentencing last week stirred outrage in the West.

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