Dubai: A businessman accused his brother of exploiting his sickness and making him sign a blank cheque before landing in jail for 3 years following his conviction in a Dh40 million bounced cheque case.

Challenging his three-year imprisonment before the Dubai Appeal Court on Monday, the Emirati businessman pleaded not guilty as he contended in courtroom 20 that his brother is the one who tricked him into signing the cheque when he was seriously ill.

“I fell very sick and was bedridden in hospital ... during my ailment my brother came to me and made me sign on that blank cheque aside from other papers for the company which he had made me start up for him. Your honour, I’ve been in the business field for over 20 years and I have never issued a bounce cheque or failed to honour any of my cheques, payments or financial commitments ever. My brother came to me wanting to start up a company and I supported. The price of that was this bounced cheque, which was blank when I signed. That was his reward for me,” the businessman told presiding judge Aysar Fouad.

When asked by the judge against what was the cheque signed, the obviously ailing defendant replied: “I have no clue. I only helped him register the company and had the licence issued under my name. It has been operating for years now and I have never ever entered its premises. I don’t even know what kind of business it does. I only helped my brother out and when he came to me when I was sick, I trusted him ... I didn’t doubt that he would trick me or cheat me. I’m in this entire awkward situation because of him ... I just signed the cheque and other papers and never thought that my own brother would double-cross me.”

In December 2016, the Dubai Misdemeanours Court jailed the Emirati for three years.In February 2017, the defendant appealed his primary judgement before the appellate court that dismissed his appeal after he had failed to show up in court.

During Monday’s hearing, the defendant contested against the previous appellate court’s decision to dismiss his appeal and contended before presiding judge Fouad that his severe illness had forced him to miss his trial before the appellate court.

“I’m ready to provide the court with the required medical reports which prove that I was sick and hospitalised,” he argued.

Meanwhile his lawyer contended before presiding judge Fouad that the brother is currently in prison for his involvement in a separate case.

“The defence wants to cross examine the brother before the court. We also want the court to bring in the bank’s representative to ask him about the person who had met with them and opened up that account and how was he provided such credit facilities,” said the lawyer.

Presiding judge Fouad said the court will hear the brother’s statement and that of the bank’s representative when it reconvenes on January 14.