GFH Ex-deputy CEO awaits quizzing
Manama, June 26, 2014
A British citizen being sued for $5 million by a subsidiary of Bahrain-based Gulf Finance House (GFH) claims he is still waiting to be interviewed by police or prosecutors in Dubai, according to a statement issued on his behalf.
It says former managing director of Leeds United and former GFH Capital deputy chief executive David Haigh has been "held for an unlimited period in custody without any criminal charges being brought against him" for almost six weeks, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The statement also raises concerns over his health, saying he was suffering pain from stomach surgery and dental pain.
According to the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Court of First Instance, Haigh is accused of a breach of contract and siphoning off funds "by creating or procuring the creation of false invoices".
He allegedly misappropriated funds by forging and approving payment to at least four companies linked to accounts in his own name between April 2013 and March 2014, when he resigned.
While legal authorities in Dubai are pursuing criminal charges against Haigh, GFH Capital has filed a civil suit seeking $5 million in damages, plus interest, costs and "other relief as the court thinks fit".
"David, a British citizen, is now in his sixth week of incarceration in a shared jail cell. Far from being charged with criminal wrongdoing, he has not even been interviewed by police or public prosecutors," said the statement issued by Ian Monk Associates.
"At the same time a complex commercial, but not criminal claim has been made against him in the Dubai International Finance Centre Court by GFH.
"David's attempts to defend himself against this have been frustrated by the denial to him of access to his computer and phone records - and even to a pen and paper.
"Additionally he is allowed only minimal access to his lawyers whom he is currently unable to pay because of the freezing by the DIFC, at the request of GFH, of his bank accounts.
"The fact that David is unable to defend himself has been acknowledged by the DIFC Court, which has stayed the hearing of the commercial case until three weeks after David's release from custody.
"This places David in a Catch 22 position since, following one offer of bail which was set at approximately £3.7 million ($6.2 million) after his bank accounts were frozen, David's bail applications have been repeatedly turned down.
"The current situation means that David is also unable to properly pursue his own claims against GFH, either in the courts or with the Bahrain and Dubai financial regulatory bodies."
Meanwhile, a GFH official said that Haigh was making vague allegations of impropriety against GFH Capital and termed the behaviour "highly inappropriate".
"GFH Capital cannot and will not comment on such general allegations made by way of press release," a statement said.
"Haigh's most recent press release repeats an allegation concerning a purported conflict on the part of GFH Capital its lawyers first raised by Haigh's lawyers at a hearing before the DIFC Court on June 3. To date, no such application has been made by Haigh's lawyers following an invitation from the court.
"Separately, the freezing order was applied by GHF Capital and granted on the basis that Haigh is permitted access to funds to pay his lawyers," the statement added. - TradeArabia News Service