x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Al Boom charges valid: prosecutors

Public prosecutors yesterday countered defence claims that the arraignment of their client in the Dh960 million al Boom trial was invalidated by a royal decree.

DUBAI // Public prosecutors yesterday countered defence claims that the arraignment of their client in the Dh960 million al Boom trial was invalidated by a royal decree. The prosecutors said the charges were laid before the decree was made.

Abed al Boom, who is charged with breach of trust, has been accused by prosecutors of spending almost Dh960m of property investor funds on parties, boats and luxury cars, leaving only one per cent of the amount allegedly embezzled left to be seized.

Defence lawyers representing Mr al Boom and his six co-defendants told the court during its last hearing that the prosecution's arraignment of Mr al Boom had been invalidated by a royal decree issued by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on August 4, 2009.

According to the executive decree, a committee was set up to liquidate Mr al Boom's assets. A special committee was ordered to oversee the liquidation process and collect on behalf of third parties, without contest to its decisions. No appeal is possible.

The decree also stopped all civil, judicial and legal proceedings under way against Mr al Boom, including criminal proceedings that had been brought after the order.

But the Deira chief prosecutor, Yousif Foulaz, told the court yesterday that the charges were issued two months before the executive decree was made.

"We have issued our charge sheet from June 4, your honour, two months before the decree," he told the court. "Our action was legal and in accordance with the law."

Defence lawyers have requested the release of Mr al Boom on bail. The court dismissed the request.

Prosecutors have claimed Mr al Boom purchased 53 luxury vehicles for himself and his managers. They said he also purchased a yacht for himself and two other boats, one specifically for parties and receptions. They said he also spent millions on specialised number plates, and donated millions to football clubs.

He allegedly defrauded 3,700 investors of Dh960m through a bogus property portfolio.

The court will reconvene on January 2 for the defence to respond to the prosecutors' statements.

 

amustafa@thenational.ae