London lawyer on trial for kidnapping, torture & hacking on behalf of UAE Sheikh
British lawyers are lining up to represent affluent foreign clients but should be warned that they themselves can face penalty for their entanglement in lawlessness. In the case of Dechert boss Neil Gerrard though, it seems a price he was willing to pay.
The Dechert partner retired when news of serious torture allegations was first published. He is now to stand trial over allegations the judge described as “the most serious ever faced by a UK lawyer in civil proceedings”.
Sheikh Saud Al Qassimi, the ruler of Ras Al Khaimah in the UAE is known to operate outside of normal boundaries. He is used to doing whatever he wants and getting away with it. “I have received direct reports from female victims of sexual assault”, reports Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai. “I have listened to American prosecutors interview the ruler after a hotel maid accused him of sexual assault. He tried to use his diplomatic immunity to avoid charges and was quickly scurried out of the country. We have heard direct testimony from British, American and other nationalities about torture and serious abuse. Saud is dangerous and he gets away with it. He expects the same anarchic service from his staff and lawyers”.
If the Sheikh desires to steal someone’s business, house or land, the lawyers better do whatever it takes to make it happen. Former staff members have been framed under the Sheikh’s personal justice system for belligerence. The courts are owned and operated at his whim and he hands out Interpol Red Notices like business cards.
Despite Gerrard’s trial and the exposure of cyberattacks against the legal team working on this case, Sheikh Saud still holds two of Gerrard’s victims hostage in his merciless prisons. Jihad Quzmar and Karam Al Sadeq have been holed up in atrocious conditions s the Sheikh tries to condition them at ‘perjury school’ to bare false witness in other cases that would financially benefit the regime.
Not only are Sheikhs using British lawyers to do their dirty work but they are also using British and overseas espionage companies to spy on opposition legal teams. “It is scandalous both international and British firms agreed to engage in espionage against claimants bringing torture allegations forward”, added Stirling. “It is atrocious that this hasn’t been addressed diplomatically by the British government yet. Abu Dhabi needs to be sent a clear message that lawless Ras Al Khaimah’s espionage of British citizens will not be tolerated.
“I have clients in the US, the UK and Middle East who have been targeted by this regime and our offices were aggressively pursued by an Israeli based spy company.
“The United Nations have been called upon to investigate the ongoing detention of Karam and Jihad, two lawyers who refused to lie for the ruler. I have great concern that this state actor is becoming increasingly belligerent. Whether it’s violating Iran sanctions, assaulting female employees, torturing prisoners or hacking opponents, this is a very dangerous ‘ally’ of Britain”.