UAE court sentences ex-lawyer to Khashoggi to 3 years in prison – National

The United Arab Emirates has sentenced an American national and the former lawyer of Jamal Khashoggi – the dissident Saudi journalist who was killed in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in 2018 – to three years in prison for money laundering and tax evasion.

The Abu Dhabi Money Laundering Court also ordered the lawyer, US citizen Asim Ghafoor, to pay a fine of US$816,748 as a result of his being convicted in absentia, UAE state news agency WAM reported late Saturday.

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The UAE’s pro-state newspaper, The National, said he would be deported to the US after serving his sentence.

The UAE presented Ghafoor’s arrest as a coordinated move with the US to “fight cross-border crimes”. Emirati state media said American authorities had asked the UAE for help with an investigation into Ghafoor’s alleged tax evasion and suspicious money transfers in the Emirates .

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The autocratic Gulf Arab sheikdom announced the prison sentence a day after Washington-based human rights watchdog Democracy for the Arab World Now, DAWN, sounded the alarm about Ghafoor’s arrest at Dubai International Airport.

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DAWN said its board member, a Virginia-based civil rights attorney who had represented Khashoggi and his fiancé Hatice Cengiz, was on his way to Istanbul to attend a wedding on Thursday when plainclothes security agents picked him up and sent him to an Abu detention center in Dhabi before he could change planes.

Ghafoor was unaware of a case against him and had traveled around Dubai without incident less than a year ago, DAWN said.

The US Embassy in Abu Dhabi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

© 2022 The Canadian Press UAE court sentences ex-lawyer to Khashoggi to 3 years in prison – National


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