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Mon 13 Aug 2012 05:17 PM

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Bailed ex Deyaar CEO 'feared for his life' - lawyers

Dubai security official says Zack Shahin's reasons for fleeing to Yemen are 'nonsense'

Bailed ex Deyaar CEO 'feared for his life' - lawyers
Zack Shahin had previously been on hunger strike in protest at his detention. (Photo: www.freezack.com)

Bailed US businessman Zack Shahin fled the UAE to Yemen because he feared for his life after threats were made against him, his US-based legal team said on Monday, but a Dubai security official denies this.

A Yemeni security source said Shahin, the former chief executive of Dubai real estate developer Deyaar who had been jailed since 2008 for embezzlement, had slipped into Yemen after a car trip across Oman from the UAE.

Shahin, now in Yemeni custody, went on hunger strike in May and was freed on $1.4m bail last month after US authorities expressed concerns about his health.

"The man entered Yemen by car last week ... He is currently being detained in Sanaa," the security source told Reuters.

Smuggling and undocumented travel is common across Yemen's porous desert borders.

Shahin is set to be deported back to the UAE this week, Yemeni sources told Reuters on Sunday.

In an emailed statement, a spokesman for Shahin's legal team said the businessman jumped his bail because he feared for his safety after threats were made against him.

A Dubai security official denied Shahin had been in any danger. "This is all nonsense," the official said, declining to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter.

"He was on bail so he should have waited for the complete legal procedures. He could have complained to the US embassy if that was true."

Dubai police and the US embassies in Sanaa and Abu Dhabi all declined to comment.

The former executive's flight may embarrass US authorities, who had exerted pressure on the UAE to resolve Shahin's case, especially after he went on hunger strike. There have been hearings on his case in Dubai, but no judgment.

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Ahmed 7 years ago

You know the old saying; No Steal; No Fear. And why do you keep saying US businessman? What about his original nationality.

BritishExpat 7 years ago

Lock him in and dont let him out this time...

Emily 7 years ago

Leave him in Yemen.

john 7 years ago

Fear for his life, so he flees to YEMEN? Maybe you should let him finish his sentence in Yemen, that would be ample punishment.

neeta 7 years ago

with the current state of him i think he will play the hide and seek game for few more years . he has already hidden the funds somewhere and now wants the govts to look somewhere else . Mr. Shahin Life has an end ,your kids cannot spend the money nor can you .

Fair is Fair 7 years ago

Justice should have no nationality or color, so regardless of his "original" nationality he is entitled for a fair trial.

He has been in Jail for more than four (4) years without being charged for any crime. And if he didn't go into hunger strike he might have rotted in jail.

Qatari 7 years ago

Best comment I've seen in a while.