Font Size

- Aa +

Sun 17 Aug 2014 10:23 AM

Font Size

- Aa +

Handwriting expert will prove my innocence, claims jailed former Leeds Utd boss

David Haigh has been in jail in Dubai since he was arrested in May on allegations of embezzling $6.4 million

Handwriting expert will prove my innocence, claims jailed former Leeds Utd boss
David Haigh, former deputy chief executive of Dubai-based GFH Capital. (Getty Images)

David Haigh, the former Leeds United chief
currently in jail in Dubai, is set to fight court orders freezing his assets,
claiming evidence from a handwriting expert will prove his innocence, his
spokesperson said.

Earlier this month, Haigh had his assets frozen by
a high court judge in the UK, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported.

The paper said the judge was told that Haigh was
facing allegations of “false invoice fraud” in criminal and civil proceedings
in Dubai.

Haigh, the former managing director of Leeds United,
has been in jail in Dubai since he was arrested in May on allegations of
embezzling $6.4 million.

The judge reportedly said he was satisfied that
Dubai-based GFH Capital, Haigh's former employer, had a “good arguable case”
and said there was evidence of a “risk of a dissipation of assets”.

Lawyers representing a finance company which has
taken civil court action applied for a freezing order relating to any assets
Haigh owned in England and Wales.

They said he owned a house in Cornwall and was
thought to have money in a number of bank accounts.

The judge heard that a similar asset freezing order
had already been made by a court in Dubai.

However, a spokesman for David Haigh told Arabian Business
“the UK Courts in effect have just followed the Dubai freezing order and Mr
Haigh's legal team are currently taking steps to prepare for setting aside of
the Dubai order, which will be relevant to the English proceedings.

"The principal basis of the set aside
application will be reliance upon a leading handwriting expert report where the
preliminary view is that signatures purported to be those of Mr Haigh are not
genuine,” he added.

Last month, Haigh hired Stephenson Harwood Middle
East, which is a full service international law firm with more than 120
partners and 700 staff worldwide.

Haigh, who resigned from his Elland Road post in
April following Massimo Cellino’s purchase of a 75 percent stake in the club,
has been held in a Dubai jail since May 18, amid allegations, which he has
denied, of financial irregularities whilst working for GFH Capital.

GFH Capital, a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Gulf
Finance House, launched legal action against Haigh, soon after his arrest when
he arrived at the company’s Dubai office on the premise of discussing a new
job.

Haigh has also been referred to the Public
Prosecution for trial on charges of “embezzlement, swindling and breach of
trust”, but to date no criminal charges have been brought against him.

In its statement of claim GFH Capital have alleged
that while working for the finance company Haigh created a spate of false
invoices for third party work that was then paid for into bank accounts
operated by him.

For all the latest banking and finance news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.