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Australian man jailed in Dubai

Australian man jailed in Dubai

Old May 21st 2013, 9:51 am
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Default Australian man jailed in Dubai

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-2...-fraud/4701182

An Australian man held in Dubai on corruption charges for four years has been sentenced to 10 years in jail and fined $25 million.

Matthew Joyce was charged with fraud over a property deal gone sour in Dubai.
Key points

Matthew Joyce jailed for 10 years, fined $25m
He maintains his innocence and will appeal
Marcus Lee acquitted over fraud charges
But prosecution could appeal against that
Bob Carr says there's a limit to what he can do

His former business partner, Marcus Lee, was acquitted and will be allowed to return home pending any further appeals.

Neither man was in custody but they have not been allowed to leave Dubai since 2009 after authorities launched a series of investigations into foreign deals after the global financial crisis.

Mr Joyce and Mr Lee were both accused of fraud over the sale of waterfront land involving Gold Coast-based property developer Sunland and Nakheel, a development company owned by the emir of Dubai.

Another man, Angus Reed, was sentenced in absentia to 10 years' jail but he is in Australia, while Anthony Brearley was cleared.

The deal at the centre of the allegations was also the subject of civil proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court.

Last year a Supreme Court judge dismissed Sunland's case against the two men, strongly criticising the evidence of its key witnesses.
Matthew Joyce Photo: Matthew Joyce has been shocked by the court's decision. (Image: Supplied)

Despite that, the Dubai court of first instance yesterday convicted Mr Joyce and fined him $25 million.

Mr Joyce, who has 30 days to surrender himself to authorities, said he was shocked by the extremity of the verdict.

"My family and I are still coming to terms with it," he said in a statement.

"I have received 10 years' jail, the maximum possible sentence, and a fine of $25 million, which is double the loss alleged by the prosecution.

"The most difficult part of today's decision is that I've been convicted based on the evidence of a witness who was found by an Australian court to have lied.

"I will of course appeal this decision. I am innocent of the charges against me."
Marcus Lee grateful four-year ordeal is over

Earlier this year the ABC's 7.30 reported fears raised about the welfare of Mr Lee and Mr Joyce.

A Dubai court referred the case to be reviewed by an expert committee which last month exonerated Mr Lee. He was formally acquitted.

Mr Lee and his wife Julie said they were overwhelmed at the finding and grateful the court uncovered the truth.
Julie and Marcus Lee, and their dog Dudley, in Dubai. Photo: Julie and Marcus Lee have expressed relief over the decision.

"It has been personally a very difficult period in our lives, particularly being away from our families in Australia who have also suffered personally and financially," the couple said in a statement.

"We are looking forward to seeing our families again and restarting our lives.

"We thank all those who have supported us and believed in us."

Mr Lee's Brisbane-based lawyer, John Sneddon, said the case had taken a heavy personal and financial toll on his client.

"Obviously his head is still spinning, but he's incredibly relieved at finally having some degree of closure to an ordeal that's now been going on for more than four years," he said.

He added: "It will be a great day when I'm able to greet Marcus and Julie when they arrive back in Australia."
Case has taken 'too long to come to court'

Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr said their case had taken too long to get to court, but there was a limit to what the Government could do.
Video: Foreign Minister Bob Carr speaks to 7.30 (7.30)

"We've made strenuous representations. I spoke to Sheik Abdul of the foreign ministry only yesterday as part of a bilateral discussion and he was familiar with the case from our previous representations I think," Senator Carr said.

"And he's now got two Australian prime ministers, the Governor-General, three foreign ministers and a number of other ministers who've raised this case with the UAE in respect to due process.

"Of course we can't fight the case for Australian nationals in trouble in the courts of other jurisdictions, and the law of those jurisdictions applies, not Australian law."

Victorian senator Helen Kroger, who has lobbied on behalf of Mr Joyce, says the Government should do more to make sure authorities in Dubai know the civil case in the Victorian Supreme Court was dismissed.

"So that a proper appeal can be pursued and so that they can consider evidence that's come to light in the last 12 months, which they did not have when these charges were first laid," she said.

But Mr Carr defended the Government's efforts in supporting the men, which has included dozens of representations on their behalf.

"I can say that during any appeal process they will be strongly supported by the Australian embassy here in the UAE... which has taken a very keen interest in this case for as long as it's gone on," he said.

"It's gone on for far too long, a point I made to the foreign minister of the UAE... to whom I was speaking about this only yesterday."
What went wrong?

Mr Joyce and Mr Lee blame their predicament on evidence provided to the Dubai authorities by Sunland, but its executive chairman, Soheil Abedian, is unapologetic.

"I really feel sorry for the family. I think that their family, they don't deserve what has happened to them.
Video: Matthew Joyce was sentenced to ten years' jail in Dubai and fined $ 25 million after a land sale involving a company owned by the Emir of Dubai fell through. (Lateline)

"(But) I believe any single individual that is in any foreign jurisdiction and is involved in any kind of business, they should uphold the law of that country."

Mr Joyce was in charge of a Nakheel subsidiary called Dubai Waterfront, and his commercial director was Mr Lee.

The deal that landed them in hot water involved a key block of waterfront land.

Sunland was planning a joint venture with another Australian, Angus Reed, and his company, Prudentia, to buy the block.

But just before the purchase, Sunland decided to go it alone and paid Prudentia $14 million to walk away.

Sunland bought the block itself and looked set to make a handsome profit but the global financial crisis burst Dubai's building bubble.

Sunland's chief officer in Dubai, David Brown, was arrested as authorities investigated whether the $14 million payment was a bribe.

Mr Brown then accused Mr Joyce and Mr Lee of fraud. He also claimed to the Dubai prosecutor that the $14 million was paid because Mr Joyce had convinced him Prudentia had first rights over the property.

Mr Abedian is standing by this accusation.

"If I do anything wrong in Dubai, I deserve to be punished as well. If somebody from Dubai comes here and does something that is illegal, the judiciary will ultimately be the judge," he said.

If I do anything wrong in Dubai, I deserve to be punished as well. If somebody from Dubai comes here and does something that is illegal, the judiciary will ultimately be the judge.
Sunland executive chairman Soheil Abedian

An Australian court has ruled on the case - after Sunland sued Mr Joyce and Prudentia in the Victorian Supreme Court for misleading behaviour, the judge found its case was "hopeless" and was launched for the "ulterior motive" of securing Mr Brown's release in Dubai.

The judge also found the story about Mr Joyce and Mr Lee was invented and the evidence of Mr Brown and Mr Abedian was "fanciful", "unreliable", "inaccurate" and "not believable".

Sunland is appealing the judgment.

"They have said that I am a liar, but anybody who knows me, and you can pick up the phone from anybody, and they will say that my whole being is about righteousness," Mr Abedian said.
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Old May 21st 2013, 9:53 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

I remember we were having a Nakheel ladie's coffee morning in Dubai when the husbands started calling that 2 Nakheel's australians have been jailed. That was Jan 2009.
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Old May 22nd 2013, 4:52 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Originally Posted by magmaggy View Post
I remember we were having a Nakheel ladie's coffee morning in Dubai
At Lime Tree Cafe?
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Old May 22nd 2013, 6:15 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Ha ha ha ha !
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Old May 22nd 2013, 9:26 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Maybe I'm not reading closely enough, but I can't find out exactly what happened that was illegal?

Or why one person was jailed and not the other?

It only confirms that the UAE courts like to give out punishments merely for the sake of appearances.

Poor dude. But what are the odds he'll be quietly pardoned in a year or so? It seems that big players in Australia have been coming to his defence so I don't think they're going to let this issue go away.
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Old May 23rd 2013, 5:44 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Poor him and his family (wife plus 2 kids under 10 years old in Dubai).

Hopefully the appeal is succesful.
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Old May 23rd 2013, 7:25 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Originally Posted by Bongoman2 View Post
At Lime Tree Cafe?
Nope! It was more of a supporting meeting than the dubai ladies coffee thing, as at that time must of the "Nakhell" husbands have been made redundant already (back in Nov 2008) and the mood was already very tense. So we obviously could no longer afford Lime Tree

Last edited by magmaggy; May 23rd 2013 at 7:29 am.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 4:41 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Originally Posted by Mogs View Post
Poor him and his family (wife plus 2 kids under 10 years old in Dubai).

Hopefully the appeal is succesful.
Acquitted yesterday.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 6:29 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

If he's got his passport back, he should get the hell out before they change their minds...
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Originally Posted by Millsyisland View Post
If he's got his passport back, he should get the hell out before they change their minds...
I would be camping at the airport until someone could race it over to me....
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 6:40 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

If you can't do the time don't do the crime.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 6:41 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Can you get an emergency one issued at the embassy for times like these?
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 6:41 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

or do a Herve!

http://www.mid-day.com/news/2009/aug...-exclusive.htm

Last edited by flares; Nov 11th 2013 at 6:44 am.
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 6:42 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Originally Posted by saudiflares View Post
If you can't do the time don't do the crime.
So how much jail time have you accrued in your life time that you haven't packed the soap on rope for just yet?
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Old Nov 11th 2013, 6:46 am
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Default Re: Australian man jailed in Dubai

Originally Posted by al dente View Post
So how much jail time have you accrued in your life time that you haven't packed the soap on rope for just yet?
I haven't. I'm as honest as the day is long and happy with my lot...which is not a lot but more than enough...if you get my drift
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