Dubai: An Emirati lawyer denied in court yesterday the charges of embezzling £60 million (Dh355 million) from Thailand's ex-prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, as part of the £150 million deal to sell England's premier league club Manchester City.

The 45-year-old lawyer, K.K., who owns and runs a law firm, has been charged with embezzling £60 million, which the latter had deposited in the firm's bank account on the basis of trust while the Manchester City deal was taking place. The £150 million was deposited in the law firm's bank account as an entrustment.

Investigations were conducted by Senior Prosecutor Salem Bin Khadim, of the Public Funds Prosecution, who also arraigned K.K. with embezzling Shinawatra's $25.45 million (Dh94 million) which the latter transferred to the lawyer's bank account.

Refusing three counts

When the lawyer appeared before the Dubai Misdemeanor Court's Presiding Judge Zakaria Abdul Aziz Othman, he denied three embezzlement counts, forgery and attempts to defraud a Global XRS private worth $48 million.

"I am not guilty," argued K.K. According to the charges sheet, Bin Khadim accused K.K. of embezzling $25.45 million from Shinawatra after the latter asked the lawyer to receive a bank transfer from a company in Switzerland. Prosecution records said Shinawatra asked K.K. to open a bank account in Montenegro Republic so he could collect the money.

Matter of trust

The lawyer had convinced the claimant to open an account in his [K.K.'s] name and transfer the money to avoid it from being seized by the European authorities due to the political tensions that Shinawatra was facing in Thailand. The ex-premier did so after agreeing to be commissioned to run the account, but K.K. allegedly embezzled the money that was deposited in his personal account.

The lawyer was additionally charged with embezzling Dh39.5 million after Shinawatra asked K.K. to buy for him a villa. Records said K.K. bought a villa worth Dh38 million in Emirates Hills and registered it in his name.

K.K. paid Dh380,000 in brokerage fees and Dh620,000 registration fees to the Lands and Properties Department. He also took Dh495,926 in fees to his firm.

Bin Khadim further charged K.K. with forging two documents in an attempt to own a jet.

K.K. argued: "Sir I did not breach anyone's trust... Shinawatra was convicted in his country and sentenced over fraud and corruption... He was not part of any deal. He didn't even show up.

"The aforementioned amounts could be released within five minutes, and it's still preserved. The villa [and the jet] are registered under my name, but I didn't use them… I am ready to hand them over... but the claimant didn't appear since more than 18 months… not even during the prosecution questioning."

Shinawatra's lawyer Salah Al Beloushi handed the court a civil lawsuit requesting the defendant to compensate his client and repay all the amounts.

K.K.'s lawyers, his son and brother, said that Shinawatra had no connection to the UK Sports Investments Limited (UKSIL). "For two years, Shinawatra has failed to prove that he owns UKSIL. Therefore he has no legal representation in the case," argued his son.

Presiding Judge Othman adjourned the case until April 7.