WASHINGTON, June 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In light of judicial decisions reached by British and Australian Courts, U.S. attorneys for Zack Shahin are calling on Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to demand the United Arab Emirates review its procedures on how charges are filed against expatriates, especially American detainee, Zack Shahin.
In a decision handed down in 2010, The High Court of Justice in Great Britain refused to extradite Mohammed Lodhi, a Pakistani national, charged with criminal activity while running a successful business in Dubai. In a well-reasoned opinion, the Court held that, if extradited, Mr. Lodhi would have been tortured or suffered inhuman or degrading treatment and would have been prejudiced at his trial. The Court specifically acknowledged the various statements issued by the U.S. State Department that the legal system in Dubai was flawed and prejudicial against foreign citizens working and living in the U.A.E.
Most recently, an Australian Court found that allegations against two Australian land developers were based on misleading statements by a witness for the prosecution in Dubai and dismissed a civil suit filed against the two by the witness. Matthew Joyce and Marcus Lee, property developers seeking to develop land situated on Dubai's shore, were accused of fraud, based on statements of witnesses who gave false statement to the Dubai prosecutors. In a civil suit filed by the company competing for the same land, the Australian Supreme Court of Victoria made findings of fact that Sunland Group Ltd has repeatedly misled the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange) and the Dubai Prosecutor and dismissed a case filed against the company for whom Joyce and Lee worked.
Radha Stirling, a spokesman for "Detained in Dubai," remarked:
"Today's judgment proves what is widely known in United Arab Emirates business circles; that Matthew Joyce, Marcus Lee and their co-accused are completely innocent of any wrongdoing, and are the victims of a series of misrepresentations to the Dubai authorities by Sunland and its senior officers."
These decisions point to an ongoing problem existing with the manner by which cases are investigated and prosecuted in the Dubai Emirate. U.S. legal counsel to Zack Shahin issued the following statement:
"We have constantly maintained, as has Zack's attorney in Dubai, that the basis of claims in all the lawsuits against Zack have been based on manipulated evidence, unfounded claims, and flawed inferences by the prosecution and witnesses for the prosecution who, on a number of occasions, has been permitted by the presiding judge to revise their evidence after it was subject to cross-examination and proven to be false. A fair trial, under the present system is impossible for Shahin."
As in the case of the two Australians, Stirling said, "Verdicts of 'not guilty' are almost unheard of in the United Arab Emirates. Defence counsel for Matthew Joyce in Dubai has not been allowed a full defense such as not being allowed to call key defense witnesses." This claim has been also asserted on behalf of Shahin in the cases being prosecuted so far and reaching the state at which rebuttal evidence may be offered.
The British Court in 2010 made specific reference to the Prosecutor, now the charging prosecutor in Shahin's cases, and questioned the manner by which the investigation of that case or others in support of denying the U.A.E.'s request for extradition.
U.S. legal to Zack Shahin continued: "Here again, the United States has been well aware of defects in the substantive and procedural process of the criminal system in Dubai by their repeated reference to them in the State Department's Statement on Human Rights. What more do they need to strongly object and demand an overhaul which is both transparent and fair?"
Zack Shahin has been on a hunger strike since May 14 to protest American officials' failure to speak out publicly on his behalf and call on UAE to grant his immediate and reasonable bail. For more information, please visit www.FreeZack.com.
U.S. legal counsel to Zack Shahin are: Jim Jatras, Rebekah Poston, and Eric Akers.
SOURCE U.S. Legal Counsel for Zack Shahin