x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Nakheel consultant granted bail in bribe case

A former Nakheel consultant accused of embezzling Dh22m from the property company has been granted bail for the first time since he was arrested in March of last year.

DUBAI // A former Nakheel consultant accused of embezzling Dh22 million (US$5.9m) from the property company has been granted bail for the first time since he was arrested in March of last year. The World Islands sales consultant, SR, a Canadian, was charged in the Dubai Criminal Court of First Instance last December with accepting bribes and embezzlement. He was also charged with causing losses of up to Dh11m to Nakheel.

After SR's lawyer, Saeed al Ghailani, claimed malice and misconduct by the Dubai Government's Financial Audit Department and the management of the World Islands project, the court granted SR bail in return for a Dh6m bond and his passport. Mr al Ghailani argued that the financial department auditor purposely concealed documents relating to the case and asked that the court order Nakheel to present them. He also said the audit was based on assumptions and that the auditor had not questioned the defendant.

A 60-year-old Canadian woman, LS, a partner at Group 7 Properties, and three others are also charged with presenting a bribe to damage the interests of a government entity in connection with the case. The three others - BS, a Briton, AS, a Bangladeshi businessman, and SM, a Russian businessman - have all fled the country. The court will issue its verdict on July 7. @Email:amustafa@thenational.ae