Dubai The lawyer of an advocate charged with embezzling former Thailand Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra's money has accused prosecutors of conspiring against his client in order to favour Shinawatra.
The case is about the embezzlement of £60 million (Dh355 million) of a £150-million deal to sell the Manchester City football club. The 46-year-old Emirati advocate, K.K., earlier rejected the charge of defrauding and embezzling Shinawatra's money, and said the latter deposited the money in a bank account on the basis of trust while the Manchester City deal was taking place.
The £150 million was deposited in the bank account of K.K.'s law firm as an entrustment.
"Prosecutors supported Shinawatra, who himself is an outlaw and wanted in his country, against my client. Prosecutors did so to blackmail my client and to coerce him to settle the dispute," K.K.'s lawyer Mukhtar Abdul Raouf argued before the Dubai Misdemeanour Court yesterday.
The suspect earlier denied embezzling Shinawatra's $25.45 million (Dh94 million) and Dh39.5 million villa in Emirates Hills. He also denied forgery and attempts to defraud a Global XRS private of $48 million.
Presenting a 90-minute argument, Abdul Raouf contended before Presiding Judge Zakaria Abdul Aziz: "Prosecutors failed to corroborate the evidence against K.K., who is a reputable lawyer and law professor and has never been involved in illegal practices. We ask the court to dismiss this case for lack of evidence. The case was based on photocopies and prosecutors failed to present documents that were not even stamped or signed by the claimant."
K.K. countered the authenticity of the documents submitted. The defence contested that the signatures were forged and that this was evident when prosecutors asked the claimant about the original copies of the documents subject to dispute but Shinawatra, who was sentenced to jail in absentia by a Thai court over different fraud charges, failed to submit the original copies.
Prosecutor Mohammad Al Kayyoumi told the court: "The suspect [broke] the law and undermined his colleagues and tarnished his own reputation. ... He embezzled and stole and cheated and did every sort of work that is not likely for a lawyer to do. Instead of enforcing justice, he breached it. The suspect, who is a lawyer and law professor, sold his honesty and dignity and was driven with greed and deception. He doesn't deserve to be a lawyer and that why the Public Prosecution asks the court to hand him the toughest punishment."
Shinawatra's lawyer Jasim Al Naqbi argued that the defendant abused the claimant's political and financial status and blackmailed him to fill his pockets. When it was the defence's turn to present their argument, Abdul Raouf said prosecutors created a lot of confusion.
Although the case was referred from the court one year ago for further investigation, according to Abdul Raouf, prosecutors failed to carry out the court's orders.
He rejected the "inappropriate" way Al Kayyoumi described his client at the beginning of the trial.
The defence lawyer said the figures mentioned in the charge sheet were "hilarious, unfounded and illogical".
A verdict will be heard on June 28.