x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Fraud trial held up as witnesses fail to show

The trial of seven men accused of defrauding Dubai Islamic Bank out of US$501 million is postponed after two witnesses fail to turn up.

DUBAI // The trial of seven men accused of defrauding the Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) out of US$501 million (Dh1.84bn) was postponed today after two witnesses failed to turn up. Three Britons - CR, RC, and AP - and two Pakistanis - RO and AP - were remanded in police custody but two others, ZO, an American, and AN, a Turk, are still at large. All seven are charged with defrauding DIB out of US$501m by securing loans through a network of phantom companies, according to public prosecution documents.

The charges involve the largest sum so far in the emirate's wide-reaching corruption investigations that began in spring last year. They were initially laid on March 5. The indictment said the defendants defrauded the bank by creating fake companies and getting it to lend money to projects. In the Dubai Criminal Court yesterday five lawyers, their assistants and representatives from the Prosecutor's Office prepared to put forward their arguments. But when two witnesses, identified as witnesses six and 16, failed to appear, the judge postponed the trial to a date that has yet to be announced. ealghalib@thenational.ae