Dubai court to decide on jailed exec's right to appeal

Australian Matthew Joyce called on developer Sunland to ‘undo this monstrous injustice’ that jailed him for 10 years

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

An Australian businessman sentenced to jail in Dubai over a property deal will find out in two weeks whether he will be allowed to appeal his corruption conviction, according to an Australian report.

The Dubai Court of Appeal’s move to delay a decision until November 3 follows a significant development in a parallel case in Australia.

The developer involved in the legal action, Sunland Group, announced on Friday it would not pursue a second appeal following a damning judgement against it.

Sunland had sought to sue Joyce and fellow Australian businessmen Angus Reed and Marcus Lee for what it called deception over a deal to purchase a lot in the failed Dubai Waterfront development in 2007.

However, the judge denounced Sunland’s ''fabrications'' and claimed the company had an ''ulterior motive'' for bringing the case – to support its fraud allegations in Dubai, where executive David Brown also was under suspicion of bribery.

The judge found Brown's allegations against Joyce and a third Australian businessman Marcus Reed, who also is under house arrest in Dubai, were "simply implausible" and contradicted sworn statements made to Dubai authorities.

Sunland was ordered to pay legal fees, as much as $10m.

Sunland lost its appeal.

Following the company’s decision to cancel another appeal, in the Australian High Court, Joyce called on Sunland to "undo this monstrous injustice" that had been imposed on him in Dubai.

Joyce’s lawyers have requested to be allowed to recall Brown and Sunland chairman Soheil Abedian for re-examination.

They argue that because the same allegations of fraud were found to be without merit in the Australian case they should be re-examined in Dubai.

Joyce and Reed, who was convicted in absentia, were each sentenced in May to 10 years’ jail. Joyce also was ordered to pay $25m.

Lee was found not guilty, although the prosecution is appealing the verdict.

Joyce said the Australian verdict showed there was no credibility to the Sunland case and called on Brown to return to Dubai to face an appeal.

"Sunland sought to intimidate and bully me through the legal process in Australia," he said in a statement. "It failed. I continue to suffer the consequences of Sunland's actions - actions which have forever damaged my family, my career and health.

"If it has any sense of morality or fairness it would arrange for [Sunland's chairman] Soheil Abedian and [Sunland executive] David Brown to return to Dubai with their lawyer, Ron Eames, to attempt to undo this monstrous injustice."

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