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05 March 2024

Sama Dubai judges seek time to decide on verdicts

By Mohammed Elsidafy

The Sama Dubai corruption case appeal was adjourned yesterday so that the judges could have more time to complete their discussions and decide on their verdicts.

The case consists of appeals by four of the five accused along with an appeal by the public prosecution against the sentences imposed on them and the acquittal of the other defendant.

The defence case was presented at an earlier hearing at Dubai Appeal Court. The defence lawyers cast doubt on a report presented by the public prosecution and issued by the Legal Affairs Section of the Financial Audit Department at the Dubai Ruler's Court.

The report said Sama Dubai was a public firm, its funds were public funds and its staff were public employees assigned to perform a public service.

They said this also applied to Dubai Holding, to which Sama Dubai belonged. This meant Sama Dubai was a private company.

At the end of their presentation the lawyers urged the court to reject the public prosecution's appeal, declare the defendants who had lodged appeals innocent and uphold the innocence of the other defendant.

The defendants are Emirati NS, a former sales consultant at Sama Dubai's Al Khayran project, Emirati MM, former Al Khayran sales manager, Syrian AH, former director of real estate development at Damac Holding, MN, former senior sales executive at Al Khayran who carries no identification documents, and AM, executive chairman of Al Khayran.

Dubai Criminal Court jailed MM, MN and NS for a year and fined them Dh1.358 million for accepting bribes. It also sentenced MM, MN and AH to a year in jail and fined them Dh650,000 for receiving commission (MM and MN) and accepting bribes (AH). The court acquitted AM of all charges. All five defendants attended yesterday's session.

The public prosecution sent the defendants for trial on charges related to the alleged acceptance of bribes and commission and embezzlement. The cost of the alleged offences was estimated at Dh2.28m by the public prosecution. The appeal was adjourned until January 26.


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