Lead fraud witness fined Dh1,000

Witness has missed several appearances in major fraud trials.

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DUBAI // The lead witness in a number of major fraud trials was fined Dh1,000 (US$272) yesterday for again failing to appear at a hearing in Dubai Criminal Courts. Mohammed Hussein Mustafa, who works in the emirate's financial department, failed to appear for the prosecution in the Dh42 million trial of the former chief executive of the home finance company Tamweel.

Mr Hussein has been called to testify in a number of other trials, including the Dh1.8 billion DIB trial and the Deyaar trail that implicates the former head of Deyaar and a former minister of state. Though he has not appeared in any of those trials, Mr Hussein's fine was only for yesterday's non-appearance, the court said. In the Tamweel trial, AS, 38, and four co-defendants are accused of defrauding the Dubai Commodities Centre and the Dubai Maritime City through illegal commissions and fraudulent transactions.

AS is the former head of Tamweel and the former deputy chief of Istithmar World, a part of the investment company Dubai World. His co-defendants are AN, 44, his former deputy at Tamweel; WG, 57, managing director of Vakson Freehold Properties; RR, 54, a Ukrainian; and MY, 40, a Pakistani. All five men have denied the charges. Judge Hamad Abdel Latif earlier granted the defendants bail on the condition that each surrender his passport along with the passport of another person.

AS was also released on bail pending another ongoing fraud trial, in which he is accused of fraudulently obtaining Dh44m while he was Tamweel's chief executive. Yesterday's hearing was adjourned to next week awaiting Mr Hussein's appearance.