Al Boom’s 923-year
jail term quashed

DUBAI - The Dubai Court of Appeal quashed on Monday the initial verdict jailing Emirati businessman Abed Al Boom for 923 years.

By Marie Nammour

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Published: Wed 30 Nov 2011, 1:44 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 10:40 AM

The court, presided over by Judge Adnan Al Farra, ruled the case was out of its jurisdiction and ordered it be referred to the Judicial Committee formed by Dubai’s Ruler pursuant to decree No. 24, 2009.

“All the judicial procedures against Al Boom shall be halted. The appeal filed by the Public Prosecution against seven other co-defendants, including Al Boom’s brother, has been dismissed and thus the court upheld the acquittal verdicts for all the seven,’’ the verdict read.

The Court of Appeal had earlier ordered the businessman to be released on bond after he had been convicted by the Court of Misdemeanours for defrauding 3,700 depositors of more than Dh900 million.

The Court of Misdemeanours sentenced the 42-year-old accused in February to 923 years in prison on 3,695 counts of breach of trust and bad cheques.

He was given a three-month imprisonment on every count and was cleared of 11 counts in what was known as ‘Al Boom bogus portfolio’ case.

Speaking outside the court, defence lawyers Hasan Al Raissi and Ali Al Felasi expressed satisfaction with the verdict that overruled what they described as ‘the longest jail term in the world’.

Both lawyers stressed that the depositors’ rights have been preserved by the Dubai Ruler’s decree and that the verdict would not affect their deposits.

Earlier Al Raissi, on behalf of the businessman, argued that his client’s hands were tied after his assets were frozen.

“Al Boom did not have any intention to expropriate the depositors’ money. He used to take money from depositors and give them security cheques. The money was invested in buying property. Investment revenues would have been paid to depositors.”

Seven others, including his brother, were acquitted for criminal complicity in the same case.

The initial verdict text read that Al Boom did not have experience in real estate investments.

The businessman would not have served more than 10 years in prison according to Article 91 of the Federal Penal Code.

The Article stipulates that if the jail sentences for different counts exceed 20 years, the maximum imprisonment should be 10 years.

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