Tourist faces jail after jet ski crash

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The Independent Online
A BRITISH tourist faces massive fines and possible imprisonment in the United Arab Emirates after being charged with "causing death without intent" in a fatal jet ski accident.

Kathleen Morgan, 37, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, was riding a jet ski on holiday in the Gulf emirate of Dubai last month when she collided at speed with a Russian man. Mrs Morgan was taken to hospital with a broken arm and chipped teeth, while the Russian, 30-year-old Mikhail Malenkov, died of his injuries.

"It was a terrible bang," said an Indian jet ski operator who was watching from the shore. "I think her jet ski rode up on to his jet ski and hit his head but I could not say who was to blame."

After two weeks spent recovering under police guard in Dubai's American Hospital, Mrs Morgan has now effectively been charged with manslaughter by the Dubai Public Prosecutor's Office. Although she is not currently in prison, her passport has been confiscated and she is not allowed to leave the country. The distraught mother of three, who was on holiday visiting her sister, insists she is innocent. She is reported to have said the last thing she remembers that day was the Russian coming towards her from behind and racing alongside her.

If found guilty, lawyers say Mrs Morgan would have to pay the equivalent of pounds 25,000 to the dead man's next of kin as "blood money", as well as facing a possible jail term in Dubai. Her legal costs are also said to be in the region of pounds 20,000, and with no date set for the trial they could mount higher.

The Foreign Office says it is keen to see an early trial as its major concern is for Mrs Morgan's children, aged five, seven and nine, who remain in Britain without knowing when they will next see their mother.

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