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Dubai Criminal Court's special session to hear Mizin case

Dubai Criminal Court's special session to hear Mizin case. (EB FILE)

By Mohammed Elsidafy

A case of financial irregularities in Mizin Properties will be looked into by the Dubai Criminal Court in a special session on February 23, when the defence will also hold discussions with audit expert Mohammed Mustafa Hussein who has complied a report into the case.

The court decided this yesterday and said the reason for doing so was to keep aside a day of relatively few hearings for the proceedings of this case, which is expected to be long drawn out because of its intricacies. The defendants in the case are SH, Mizin's former CEO, and JH, a Lebanese businessman.

In yesterday's hearing, which Hussein attended, defence counsels Sameer Jaafar and Ali Al Shamsi called for a long period of time to prepare their questions on the report compiled by Hussein in the light of new regulations that have stipulated intensified penalties on defendants involved in corruption cases. The new punishments are as much as 20 years in jail for some corruption offences.

In an earlier hearing, Hussein had estimated the value of privileges allowed by SH to second defendant JH at about Dh49 million. Out of this, some Dh22.9m was related to the selling of three pieces of land, Dh14.3m related to buildings in the Remram project and privileges valued at Dh11.7m which the first defendant received through the sale of the three plots to Salem Al Jaberi (sponsor of Nebras company owned by the second defendant).

The last deed was done by violating the policies of Tatweer, the company that owns Mizin, Hussein said. Though the plots were sold in the name of Al Jaberi, the one who obtained the actual privileges and discounts was second defendant JH, the court was told. Hussein estimated the value of losses that Mizin incurred as a result of the transactions at Dh49m, which is the same as the value of facilities that the second defendant received. The money should rightfully have come to Mizin had its policies and regulations been followed, he said.

Hussein said there were three benefits that the first defendant SH received in return for the privileges he offered JH. Firstly, Nebras company, owned by the second defendant, repaid a debt of Dh927,000 on behalf of Profab company, which is owned by SH. Secondly, Jescom, owned by JH, placed an order of caravans with Profab and paid for more caravans than it took delivery of, with the total money paid to Profab being Dh920,000. Thirdly, one of JH's companies carried out free maintenance work at the house of SH's father.

Hussein denied the repayment of Profab's debts was settlement of accounts between Profab and Nebras and said the sum paid was a gift that the first defendant obtained in return for the privileges granted to the second defendant.

Hussein said the first defendant did not return any sums to the company as a result of the facilities granted to the second defendant, which harmed Mizin. This was despite the instructions issued to him by the board of directors to repay the value of the facilities to the company.

Hussein said he was assigned to compile his report on Mizin by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai. He said Mizin was owned by Tatweer, which belongs to Dubai Holding, which meant Mizin's funds were public funds and its staff public servants.

Also in a former hearing, the court was presented three new evidences by the defence. The first was presented by Mizin's sales manager Salem Al Owais; the second by Firas Al Refae, Manager of Jescom company owned by defendant JH; while the third was given by Adel Sawan, who prepared an accounts report related to transactions and deals done between Mizin and JH.

The public prosecution had accused SH of accepting illegal gifts, harming Mizin's interests and facilitating the transfer of company funds to another person illegally. JH is accused of illegally offering gifts to SH, obtaining unauthorised discounts on properties through illegal pacts, and harming Mizin's interests through such deals.


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