Monday, 16 March 2009

Lawyers claim taking bribes on property deals not prohibited

From Arabian Business 16 March '09

Taking bribes and commission on property deals was not prohibited under UAE law, according to lawyers on Sunday who were defending seven former real estate executives charged with corruption.

The lawyers made the statement as five of their clients appeared before the Criminal Court of First Instance in Dubai accused of taking illegal commissions from the sale and resale of land owned by the government.

Four of the five in court were former employees of Sama Dubai, the property arm of the government-owned Dubai Holding, and the fifth was a former employee of Damac, one of the UAE’s largest private property developers.

The five pleaded not guilty to the charges and Judge Fahmi Mounir granted a defence application for an adjournment.

However, all five men were denied bail. The hearing will resume on Sunday, according to UAE daily The National.

Meanwhile, in a separate trial the two other defendants – former employees of Nakheel, the Dubai development company - were also charged with accepting illegal commissions.

The allegedly took an extra two percent for themselves on the sale of land on the Palm Jebel Ali development.

They both pleaded not guilty and were denied bail. The trial was adjourned until Mar. 29.

The two court cases are the first of many due to be heard after a widespread corruption investigation in the UAE, which has resulted in up to 30 executives from several companies being arrested and held in custody.

However, most of those taken in for police questioning have yet to be charged, despite some being arrested more than 10 months ago.

During the two trials the court heard some details of the alleged business practices unearthed by the investigation, such as an alleged AED5m ($1.36m) cash bribe being delivered to a defendant’s home in a black suitcase.


  1. LOL. The black suitcase was probably a genuine fake from Karama.

  2. That is really shocking to hear that lawyers are making such statements just to protect clients. Then I think a lawyer would say bring drugs into the country is not illegal either. Horrific!

  3. There is bigger fan of Dubai. In the last 7 years Dubai has truly accomplished the amazing.
    Dubai Real Estate