Sunday, April 2, 2023

Jamal Khashoggi’s Ex-Lawyer Arrested in UAE and Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison: Report

The day before President Joe Biden punched Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the former lawyer of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi was arrested and later sentenced to three years in prison in the United Arab Emirates, they reported. UAE state media, according to Nation World News.

News of the sentencing of US citizen Asim Ghafoor followed quickly after the human rights group Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) said in a statement on Friday that he had been detained by United Arab Emirates security agents at the Dubai International Airport the day before. Ghafoor, a civil rights attorney, is a co-founder and board member of the organization.

The Abu Dhabi money laundering court has now convicted Ghafoor of committing “two crimes of tax evasion and money laundering related to a tax evasion operation in his country and has sentenced him to three years in prison” and a fine of about $900,000, according to the UAE. state media WAM, reported Nation World News.

A US State Department spokesperson told Nation World News on Saturday: “We are aware of the arrest of US citizen Asim Ghafoor in the United Arab Emirates. We have raised his detention at high levels with the Emirati authorities and request additional information. We are closely monitoring his case and providing the appropriate consular support; Consular officers from the United States Embassy visited him today.”

“We have conveyed our expectation that Mr. Ghafoor’s rights to a fair and public hearing and to fair trial guarantees be fully respected and that he be treated humanely, as well as that US consular access rights be fully respected. ”, added the spokesman.

Ghafoor “was not aware of any legal matter against him and had no reason to believe that he was involved in any legal dispute in the United Arab Emirates,” the DAWN statement said.

“Whatever concocted legal pretext the UAE has concocted to detain Ghafoor, it smacks of politically motivated revenge for his association with Khashoggi and DAWN,” the statement added.

UAE state media said US authorities had requested judicial assistance from the UAE regarding their investigations of Ghafoor for alleged tax evasion and suspicious money transfers to the UAE, Nation World News reported. There was no confirmation of that from US officials.

A senior US administration official told Nation World News: “I will say there is no indication” that Ghafoor’s arrest and sentencing “has anything to do with Khashoggi, or anything else. But we are aware of it.”

DAWN Executive Director Sarah Leah Whitson said in the organization’s statement on Friday: “We are outraged by the unjustified detention of our board member and extremely concerned for his health and physical safety given the well-documented history of abuse in the United Arab Emirates, including torture and inhuman treatment. treatment.”

Ghafoor had represented Khashoggi, who US intelligence officials say was killed and dismembered in 2018 on the orders of the Saudi crown prince. Khashoggi lived in the US but was an Arab citizen and a vocal critic of the nation’s royal masters. He was assassinated at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, where he had gone to get a document he needed to marry his fiancée.

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

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Deskhttps://nationworldnews.com
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