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US officials attended UAE trial of Khashoggi's lawyer

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 anniversary of the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on 2 October 2021 [Yasin Öztürk/Anadolu Agency]

US embassy officials attended US citizen and rights lawyer Asim Ghafoor's hearing in the United Arab Emirates yesterday, a State Department official said, adding that his next hearing was scheduled for today, Reuters reports. UAE authorities have said Ghafoor, a US citizen and civil rights attorney based in Virginia, was arrested last month while transiting through Dubai airport based on an in absentia trial and conviction in May for tax evasion and money laundering.

Ghafoor – who was the lawyer for Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi and his fiancée Hatice Cengiz following Saudi agents' killing of the journalist in Istanbul in October 2018 – has previously said that he was unaware of any legal issues against him.

During today's hearing, the Emirati court overturned Ghafoor's prison sentence, a lawyer representing him said. He has now been ordered to pay a fine of five million dirhams ($1.36 million).

READ: Biden criticised by Sanders for visit to Saudi Arabia

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Asia & AmericasEurope & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSaudi ArabiaTurkeyUAEUS
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