A BAHRAINI allegedly tricked a woman into a fake marriage and then stole BD4,000 and her new car.
The 36-year-old is accused of staging a sham wedding conducted by one of his friends, who allegedly posed as a religious cleric.
He was reported to police by his bride, a 28-year-old Bahraini woman, who said he talked her into a one-year “temporary marriage” with promises of making it permanent.
She claimed he forged her signature to take ownership of her car – and later discovered he was already married with children.
“He approached me and told me he loved me,” the woman told prosecutors.
“I initially ignored him, but he kept on contacting me and I slowly fell in love with him.
“He then said we were going to marry temporarily for a year, before he would marry me permanently."
“He said this marriage was not haram (forbidden) and adhered to Sharia (Islamic) law. He tricked me into believing this due to my lack of knowledge in that field."
“He then got me an apartment and I stayed with him for four months before I noticed he was a different person.”
It is not uncommon for some couples in Bahrain, specifically among the Shi’ite community, to tie the knot for a specified period of time.
Such marriages, in which the timescale is decided by the couple, are sanctioned by religious authorities.
The alleged victim claimed her marriage was never legitimate because it was not conducted by a qualified clergyman.
She also alleged the man she married was a “professional con artist” who physically assaulted her and forged documents transferring ownership of her new Honda Accord to his name.
“He was such a professional con artist, but he never gave me the impression that he was sly,” she said.
“He played me and used my weakness against me."
“However, he then started beating me and stole BD4,000 in cash from me."
“I then moved out of his apartment and went to my parent’s home."
“He threatened to tell my parents about our marriage – and then carried out his threat."
“I then discovered I was not even married to him legally."
“He had brought one of his friends, who posed as a cleric, to conduct the sham marriage."
“I then took my vehicle, which I got on loan, to get serviced at the showroom and found out he took my car from them pretending it was his."
“I later found out that he was already married and had children.”
The defendant is now on trial for forgery in the High Criminal Court, but has pleaded not guilty.
He said the couple separated because they were not compatible and denied stealing her car, saying he was the one who bought it.
“I married her and we realised we were not suitable for each other,” he told prosecutors.
“I told her I had to leave her and I took a vehicle I had bought for her."
“I did not con her or forge her signature.”
The trial was yesterday adjourned until May 28 for a forensic expert to give evidence.