Former Deyaar CEO released on bail

The former Deyaar chief executive was released on Dh5 million bail, and had to submit his passport and that of a sponsor to guarantee his appearance at future hearings.

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DUBAI // Zack Shahin, the former Deyaar chief executive who is charged with misusing his powers and approving bids in return for millions of dirhams, was granted bail yesterday by the Dubai Criminal Court.

Mr Shahin, an American citizen, had been on a hunger strike since May in an effort to raise attention to his case. He has been awaiting trial since March 2008 for charges of theft and fraud involving more than Dh300 million.

Mr Shahin's legal team in the United States had launched a public relations campaign calling for the president, Barack Obama, and the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, to intervene.

He was released on the condition that he submitted his own passport as well as that of a sponsor, as is customary in bail procedures. There will be a penalty of Dh5 million if bail is violated.

An Argentine who has been detained for three years in the same case was also granted bail under similar circumstances, but with a Dh500,000 bond.

KM, 61, a partner at Ambiance Technology, has been charged with taking Dh10m in bribes along with two other defendants, FL ,a Canadian, and AS, a Briton, who remain at large. KM is also facing charges for forging invoices. FL, a project manager at Thermo LLC and AS, the director general at the company, have been charged with embezzling Dh500,000 each, prosecutors said.

DK, a projects evaluation manager at Thermo, said that the offers for the bids were prepared by AS and FL before they were sent to Mr Shahin at Deyaar.

There were then directions from AS to all senior executives not to coordinate directly with Deyaar, according to testimony.

He said that Thermo won three bids from Deyaar. The first was in June 2005 for U1 and U2 towers in Jumeirah Lakes worth Dh71.2m, the second in February 2006, for a tower in the business bay area worth Dh76.1m and the last in December 2006 for Metro Police Tower in the business bay area worth Dh55.8m.

In his testimony, MM, director of the financial audit department for the Ruler's Court, testified that he found financial violations and that amounts of about Dh30.5m were transferred to the defendants' accounts.

He said that he found that cheques were issued to pay financial obligations for Mr Shahin as well as money transfers outside the country.

Both Mr Shahin and KM have denied all charges. The next hearing is scheduled for July 23.