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Jail term of Deyaar ex-board member reduced to one year

Marie Nammour / 16 December 2010

DUBAI — The Court of Appeal on Wednesday reduced the jail sentence awarded to a former member of the Board of Directors of real estate developer Deyaar for a bribery charge from three years to one year.

The court panel presided by Judge Moustapha Shinawi also ordered the Emirati former board member to pay a fine of Dh11.75 million, instead of Dh115.8 million slapped on him by the preliminary court.

“The court rejects the Public Prosecution’s appeal for a stiffer penalty. The primary (court’s) verdict of three years is reduced to one year with a payment of Dh11.75 million worth of fine,” the judge said.

The court upheld all other aspects of the preliminary court’s judgment. The court acquitted the former board member of the charge of giving a usury loan worth Dh16 million to a businessman (tried in absentia).  Judge Shinawi requested that a document be filed as a proof that Deyaar had relinquished its rights to pursue damages in the case.

Earlier, Deyaar dropped the civil lawsuit that it pursued against the former board member and the businessman.

On March 14, the 41-year-old Emirati defendant was sentenced by the Court of First Instance to three years’ imprisonment and was asked to pay a fine of Dh115.8 million as he was found guiltyof accepting bribes. The court acquitted another defendant, a 44-year-old Emirati businessman, who had been on trial in absentia for taking an illegal usury loan from the first defendant.

The court then referred the civil case to the relevant court.

The former board member had pleaded not guilty to accepting a bribe of Dh11.75 million from the businessman in a deal over a plot of land inDubai Marina.

He also pleaded not guilty to the charge of giving a usury loan worth Dh16 million to the businessman.

Earlier, defence lawyer Dr Habib Al Mulla termed the verdict that incriminated his client as full of flaws. 

The Egyptian director of audit of the Finance Control Department of the Ruler’s Court, Mohammed Moustafa, stated during the probe that he had noticed one serious instance of fraud during theDeyaar audit.

In his statement, the auditor said: “There was Dh115.8 million wasted in buying a piece of land in Dubai Marina in September 2007, which was suspected to be purchased over its market value.”

By checking the land papers, the audit department realised that the land was previously sold for Dh300 million and its market value would not exceed that. mary@khaleejtimes.com

 
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