Lawyer denies cheating Thaksin in club deal

The Dubai Misdemeanours Court turned down a request to award bail to a lawyer accused of embezzling Dh441 million from former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

The Dubai Prosecution has filed six charges against lawyer, KMA, 45, Emirati, who owns an advocate firm, which he all denied.

The first is related to embezzling £60 million handed over to him as part of £150 million Manchester City Club deal. The amount was deposited in the firm’s account owned by advocate on the basis of trust while the deal was taking place.

The second account is related to embezzling 15 million euros from Shinawatra who asked him to collect a bank transfer from BB Dubai Company via its account in a Swiss bank and open an account in his name in a bank in Montenegro and deposit the money in it.

The accused convinced Shinawatra to open the account in his name rather than Shinawatra’s in order to avoid any seizure of funds due to European pressure. Shinawatra agreed on the suggestion on condition of having the power to run the account. The accused allegedly embezzled the money that was deposited in his personal account.

The fourth accusation is related to embezzling Dh39.5 million. Shinawatra asked the accused to buy him a house in Emirates Hills and register it in his name. The lawyer registered the house which he bought for Dh38m and paid Dh380,000 commission and Dh620,000 registration fees in his name rather than Shinawatra.

KMA is also accused forging official documents and attempting to defraud Global XRS for $48 million by placing Shinawatra’s signature on the documents using the computer.

"Your honour, I did not breach anyone's trust. Shinawatra was not part of any deal. He was convicted in his own country and sentenced over fraud and corruption. He didn't even show up. The aforementioned amounts could be released within five minutes, and it's still preserved. The villa and the jet are registered under my name, but I didn't use them… I am ready to hand them over... but the claimant didn't appear since more than 18 months… not even during the prosecution questioning," the accused said.

Defence lawyer Hamdan Al Muhairi submitted to the court, presided by Judge Zakaria Abdul Aziz Othman, a written statement denying the accusation and asking the court for his client’s acquittal on the ground that Shinawatra has no legal representation in the case. He also asked the court to assign an accounting expert and release his client on bail.

Stressing the illegal representation of Shinawatra in the case, MKA's son and brother told the court that Shinawatra had no connection to the UK Sports Investments Limited (UKSIL) and that he failed to prove he it.

Salah Al Beloushi, Shinawatra's lawyer, handed the court a civil lawsuit requesting compensation to his client.

The judge refused to bail the accused and the court would reconvene on April 7.