By Sam Bridge
Contracting major says statement issued by Khaldoun Tabari 'lacks credibility and is not supported by evidence'
Dubai-based Drake and Scull International on Monday hit back at claims from its former CEO Khaldoun Tabari that allegations of embezzlement and fraud were "unwarranted commercial claims and not criminal complaints".
The contracting major said his press statement published earlier in February "lacks credibility and is not supported by evidence".
DSI previously announced that – in response to 15 prior complaints filed against Tabari – the Abu Dhabi Public Funds prosecutor has charged him with misappropriation, fraud, embezzlement, intentional damage to public funds, profiteering and forgery.
The company has been pursuing legal action to get him extradited to the UAE following his arrest by Jordanian authorities at Amman’s airport. The arrest followed an Interpol Red Notice issued against him on January 7. DSI has also filed a criminal case against him and Zeina Tabari in Jordan.
DSI added that competent judicial authorities in the United Arab Emirates are coordinating with relevant judicial authorities in Jordan to extradite Tabari and try him before the UAE justice system.
It said in Monday's statement: "As for Mr Tabari’s claims of innocence and insistence that he can refute all charges against him through documents in his possession, the company invites him to present any evidence he has and welcomes the opportunity to face him in UAE court.
"Moreover, we highlight that Khaldoun Tabari and his daughter Zeina Tabari were not absolved by the Annual General Assembly of the company, held in April of 2018."
In a statement sent to the media on February 5, Tabari said that “even a cursory examination of the unfounded allegations made by DSI shows that they are unwarranted commercial claims and not criminal complaints”.
“These claims have also been accompanied by a smear campaign that is feeding misinformation to the media, further underscoring the questionable tactics employed by DSI’s new management throughout the process,” he added.
Additionally, Tabari – whose tenure extended between 2008 and 2016 – accused DSI’s current management of employing “unethical intimidation tactics” aimed at family members, former associates and friends.
DSI responded, saying: "We would like to unequivocally refute Tabari’s claims that the current management of the company is 'employing (unethical intimidation tactics) aimed at family members, former associates and friends'. The company would like to confirm that all previously issued press statements are true and supported by evidence and documents, and not hearsay."
DSI said it is the company’s "duty to protect the rights of the shareholders who trusted it and invested in it", adding that the board of directors is working "diligently to restore the shareholders’ rights and put the company back on track".