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Thursday, August 11, 2022

Jamal Khashoggi’s ex-lawyer detained in UAE, sentenced to 3 years: Report

A day before President Joe Biden assassinated Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the former lawyer for the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was detained – and then sentenced to three years in prison in the United Arab Emirates was reported, United Arab Emirates state media reported. CNN.

Human rights group Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) said in a statement on Friday that he was detained by UAE security agents at Dubai International Airport the previous day. Civil rights lawyer Gafoor is a co-founder and board member of the organization.

According to the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Money Laundering Court has now convicted Ghafoor of “committing two offenses of tax evasion and money laundering relating to a tax evasion operation in his country and sentenced him to three years in prison” and fined around $900,000. is ordained. State media WAM, CNN reported.

A US State Department spokesman told CNN on Saturday: “We are aware of the arrest of US national Asim Ghafoor in the UAE. We have taken up his detention at a senior level with Emirati authorities and have requested additional information. We will discuss his case.” closely watching and providing appropriate consular support; consular officials from the US Embassy called on him today.

“We convey our expectation that Mr Ghafoor’s rights should be fully respected and treated humanely, in order to guarantee a fair and public hearing and a fair trial, as well as consular access,” the spokesperson said. American rights must be fully respected.”

The DAWN statement said that Ghafoor was not aware of any legal case against him nor had any reason to believe that he was involved in any legal dispute in the UAE.

“Whatever legal excuse the UAE has used to detain Ghafoor, it smacks of politically motivated revenge for Khashoggi and his association with the don,” the statement said.

United Arab Emirates state media said US officials had sought judicial assistance from the UAE in connection with the investigation of Ghafoor for alleged tax evasion and suspicious money transfers to the UAE, CNN reported. This has not been confirmed by US officials.

A senior US administration official told CNN: “I would say there is no indication” that Gafoor’s detention and sentencing “has nothing to do with Khashoggi, or anything else. But we are aware of that.”

DAWN Executive Director Sarah Leah Whitson said in the organization’s statement on Friday: “We are outraged by the unreasonable detention of our board member and are deeply concerned for their health and physical safety, due to abuses, including torture and inhumane, in the UAE. Judging by the well documented record. treatment.”

Ghafoor represented Khashoggi, who US intelligence officials have determined was killed and destroyed in 2018 under orders from the Saudi crown prince. Khashoggi lived in the US but was an Arab citizen and was a sharp critic of the country’s royal masters. He was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he had gone for a document to marry his fiancée.

Biden, whose visit with bin Salman was controversial due to the Khashoggi killing and Saudi repression, said on Friday that he raised the issue of the journalist’s murder with the crown prince.

World Nation News Desk
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