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Khashoggi lawyer intends to appeal against UAE sentence

Commemoration ceremony held in front of the US Congress on the 3rd anniversary of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 02, 2021 [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]
Commemoration ceremony held in front of the US Congress on the 3rd anniversary of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October 2021 [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

The former American lawyer for murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has said that he will appeal before a UAE court today against his conviction for money laundering.

According to a statement from the UAE Embassy in Washington on Monday evening, Asim Ghafoor and his lawyer had several opportunities for personal or video consultations, whichever they preferred, and he appeared before the court twice. "The case reflects extensive legal cooperation in the UAE and the US to combat cross-border financial crimes," explained the embassy.

The UAE began its investigation into Ghafoor's activities in 2020, after receiving an official request from the US Embassy in Abu Dhabi. According to the embassy's statement, the investigation concluded that Ghafoor was involved in tax evasion and money laundering of at least $4.9 million in the form of international money transfers through the UAE banking system.

He apparently opened an account in early 2013 and closed another in 2020, after suspicious activity was discovered.

"Although Ghafoor was not a resident of the UAE, he made dozens of cash deposits and debit transactions on his accounts via an unknown third party using Ghafoor's bank cards in ATMs located in the UAE," added the embassy.

The lawyer was arrested at Dubai International Airport last month while on his way to Istanbul. He was taken by police to a detention centre in Abu Dhabi.

The US had previously denied that it had asked the UAE to arrest Ghafoor, who was sentenced in absentia to three years in prison for tax evasion and money laundering, and fined $816,000.

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Middle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaUAE
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