Dubai court acquits ex-minister of fraud charges

Court ruling dismisses all charges against former minister Khalifa Bakhit Al Falasi.
Dubai court acquits ex-minister of fraud charges
By Tamara Walid
Thu 28 May 2009 04:23 PM

An appeal court in the Gulf Arab emirate of Dubai on Thursday acquitted a former minister of defrauding a Lebanese businesswoman, throwing out a two-year sentence passed by a lower court.A ruling read out in court dismissed all charges against former minister Khalifa Bakhit Al Falasi and two managers at a technology company.

In April, they had been sentenced to two years in jail on charges of deceiving the businesswoman and taking over her late brother's stake in the firm.

The court also dismissed an appeal by the businesswoman against the minister's son, who had been earlier acquitted of criminal complicity, Samir Jaafar, one of the lawyers representing the defendants, told Reuters by telephone.

Dubai, one of the seven UAE and the Gulf's trade and tourism hub, has launched an anti-corruption campaign, arresting several businessmen and another minister as its once-booming economy is hit by the global financial downturn.

Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said last year nobody would be above the law. (Reuters)

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