By Andy Sambidge
Judge hands down toughest sentence yet amid Dubai's crackdown on corruption.
A former senior manager at Istithmar World, the overseas investment arm of Dubai World, has been handed the longest prison sentence yet as part of a major crackdown on corruption.
The British manager, referred to in court as CT, was jailed for five years and ordered to pay almost AED10m ($2.7m) in fines after being found guilty of embezzling $1.34m, it was reported on Wednesday.
CT was accused of purchasing stocks for Istithmar from a British horse brokerage company that he owned, then pocketing a portion of the funds, UAE daily The National reported.
Judge El Saeed Bargouth ordered CT to repay the $1.3m and fined him the same amount. He further ordered that CT be dismissed from his position, the paper said. CT has two weeks to lodge an appeal.
Meanwhile, appeals judges in the Sama Dubai fraud case were considering whether employees of state-funded companies could be tried as public officials.
If they rule that they can, it would leave the defendants in a number of corruption cases open to markedly heavier sentences if found guilty, the paper added.
Perhaps this will, at last, make others feel a little less arrogant in their positions of senior management by being known to be diverting funds for their own ends but using fear to avoid being detected. A practice long held in the 'easy UAE'. Transparency, however small steps, will be for Dubai's benefit, for investment, the people and its future.
Can the Dubai courts issue sentences on UK citizens without a proper trial where the defendant and his lawyers can argue their case? How honest is the judiciary in Dubai?