Marte Delelv pardoned by UAE after accusing man of rape

Marte Delelv was pardoned after being sentenced to 16 monts in jail. Photo: CNN

The Norweigian woman who was nearly sentenced to more than a year in jail in the United Arab Emirates after reporting she was raped will soon head home after a royal pardon.

Marte Delelv, a 24-year-old woman who was in Dubai on business, told authorities that she was raped by a colleague while she was drunk earlier this year. However, instead of going after the accused rapist, UAE authorities charged her with unlawful sex, public drunkenness and misleading police.

She was then sentenced to 16 months in jail.

"In the beginning, with all the pressure, I started to believe I was guilty emotionally and everything," Delelv said.

Outrage from around the world and a campaign by Norway's foreign ministry eventually led to intervention by the rule of Dubai, Sheikh Mohamed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, who eventually pardoned her.

"It has resonated in...not only Norway but further beyond," Ase Elin Bjerke, Norway's ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, said. "I think people can see themselves in Marte."

As a policy, ABC7 does not identify victims of sexual assault. Marte Delelv, however, has come out publicly to speak about her case.