By Staff writer
David Haigh says he remains in jail in Dubai for 300 days without questioning, trial or charge
David Haigh, the former Leeds United managing director held in jail in Dubai for 300 days without questioning, trial or charge, has revealed his incarceration drove him to the brink of suicide.
In a dramatic interview with the charity Prisoners Abroad, Haigh said of his early days in prison: "I was beyond desperate. I was suicidal. I even planned to hang myself on the cell door and managed to find some strong material. I just wanted it all to end - to get rid of the fear, desperation and the pain. It was crushing me.
"I think those first few weeks were the worst - a nightmare. It was the darkest time of my life. I had no lawyer - I wasn’t even allowed a pen and paper. I had no money and didn’t understand how my accusers were being allowed to trick me. I was desperate."
Haigh praised the help and support he has received from the charity during his on-going ordeal.
He said he will be making a substantial donation to the charity as soon as he regains access to his assets which are currently the subject of a freezing order at the request of his former employers, Dubai-based GFH Capital.
Continuing to claim his innocence, Haigh said in the interview: "I was successful, happy and my life was going well. And today I’m shut away from the people I love, from my friends and from my family. But I’ve done nothing wrong. These people are taking my money, my home, my life and my freedom."
Now, with improved access to an international legal team including Stephenson Harwood, Olswang, Alun Jones QC and Zafar Ali QC, he and his company Sport Capital has filed claims in both the UK and Dubai against GFH for £40 million.
On April 9 a judge sitting in Hammersmith Magistrates Court, London, will hear a private prosecution brought by Haigh against individuals at GFH for conspiracy to defraud.
Haigh and GFH have made numerous counter claims against each other since the former club manager was arrested in Dubai in May.
Haigh is accused of embezzling at least £4 million ($6.2 million) from his former employer by fabricating about 100 invoices and arranging payment into at least four different bank accounts in Dubai, London and Manchester.
In a civil case, GFH is seeking $5 million in damages plus costs and “such further or other relief as the court thinks fit”.
GFH launched legal action against Haigh following his arrest soon after arriving at GFH’s Dubai offices on May 18.
Haigh had resigned from GFHC in March, a month before resigning as managing director of Leeds United.
Haigh counters that he was dishonestly lured to Dubai to be arrested and is claiming £1 million in damages for pain and suffering, loss of liberty, earnings and reputation.