Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Aussies refused bail in Dubai Court hearing

The 'Gulf News' uses initials for defendants' names in their reports.
Source: Gulf News 15 Sept 09
Waterfront's former executive director and ex-operations manager were refused bail by a court yesterday after they denied the charge of unlawfully gaining Dh44.1 million.
With his arms folded, the 43-year-old Australian former executive director, M.J., repeatedly said: "No!" four straight times when he pleaded not guilty before the Dubai Court of First Instance.
His 40-year-old compatriot ex-operations manager, M.R., said: "No!" four times in the same manner when he denied his charges at courtroom nine in front of Presiding Judge Al Saeed Mohammad Barghout.
Lawyers Salem Al Sha'ali and Ali Abdullah Al Shamsi, who are defending M.J. and M.R., respectively, told the judge that there are no more reasons to keep their clients in provisional detention.
The advocates said their clients' passports have been confiscated and asked the judge to bail the defendants.
The Public Prosecution charged M.J., M.R. and Waterfront's former legal adviser, 44-year-old Australian A.J. (who is at large), with abusing their jobs as public servants and intentionally damaging the interest of Nakheel's Waterfront project by unlawfully earning Dh44.1 million, out of which Dh22.1 million went to M.J.
According to the bill of impeachment, a fourth Australian escapee, identified as A.R., collaborated with the former Waterfront executives.
Prosecutors charged M.J., M.R. and A.J. with abusing their jobs when they managed and promoted Dubai Waterfront lands for sale and gained an illegitimate profit.
Public Prosecution records claim the Australians swindled and misappropriated Dh44.1 million from a Dubai-based property developer.
The defendants allegedly claimed to the developer's Australian manager, D.B., that one of the lands at the Waterfront project belonged to an Australia-based company, which is owned by A.R. The defendants claimed that the land had been reserved for A.R.'s company. Prosecutors claimed that the defendants deceived D.B. and lured him into paying Dh44.1 million and obtain a waiver over the ownership of the land to be able to buy it.
During yesterday's hearing, advocate Eisa Bin Haidar represented the property developer and D.B., who is claiming Dh20,000 in temporary compensation.
Al Sha'ali argued in court: "Since this case surfaced nine months ago, we submitted a document that confirms that the defendants reserved the land for the Australia-based company. Prosecutors failed to face prosecution witnesses with that document because eventually it corroborates that the suspects didn't have any criminal intention&"
Presiding Judge Barghout rejected the bail requests and adjourned the case until October 22.

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