UAE arrests US lawyer for Khashoggi on money laundering charges | News

The civil rights lawyer, who had represented the slain Saudi journalist, was arrested whereas transiting by means of Dubai airport, an official and a rights group say.

Authorities within the United Arab Emirates have arrested an American citizen and civil rights lawyer who beforehand served as a lawyer for slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in keeping with an official and a United States-based rights group.

A UAE authorities official confirmed to the Reuters information company on Saturday that Asim Ghafoor was arrested whereas transiting by means of Dubai airport on July 14 following an in absentia conviction for cash laundering.

A US official earlier on Saturday mentioned Washington was conscious of the arrest, however couldn’t say whether or not President Joe Biden would increase the difficulty in bilateral talks with the UAE president on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Saudi Arabia.

“There’s no indication that it has something to do with the Khashoggi difficulty,” the US official mentioned.

Khashoggi was killed by Saudi brokers in 2018 on the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate in an operation the US intelligence says was accepted by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS). MBS denies involvement.

Rights group Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), of which Ghafoor is a board member, mentioned in a press release on Friday the Virginia-based civil rights lawyer was en path to Istanbul to attend a household marriage ceremony when he was arrested.

‘Case reopened’

The Emirati official informed Reuters the UAE has granted a request by the US embassy to conduct a consular go to to Ghafoor. He added that for the reason that unique trial was held in absentia, Ghafoor is permitted to request a retrial.

“A request has been obtained and granted, ensuing within the case being reopened, and the related authorized proceedings are beneath method,” the official mentioned.

DAWN cited US consular officers as saying the lawyer was being held in a detention facility in Abu Dhabi. The group additionally mentioned Ghafoor had no information of any authorized case in opposition to him.

It mentioned the conviction was obtained “with out due course of” and known as for his quick launch.

International rights teams say the UAE has jailed lots of of activists, lecturers and legal professionals in unfair trials on broad expenses.

The UAE has rejected the accusations as baseless, saying it’s dedicated to human rights.

US charges Haitian man for role in missionary kidnappings | Crime News

US Division of Justice says Jean Pelice, alleged member of Haiti’s 400 Mawozo gang, was concerned in October abductions.

The US has charged a Haitian man with hostage-taking for his alleged position within the kidnapping of 16 American missionaries close to Port-au-Prince final 12 months, the US Division of Justice stated.

In an announcement on Thursday, the division accused Jean Pelice, also referred to as “Zo”, an alleged member of the 400 Mawozo gang, of participating within the kidnapping of the Christian missionaries on October 16, 2021.

“Pelice, together with different 400 Mawozo gang members, used firearms to protect the missionaries throughout their captivity,” the assertion stated.

“400 Mawozo made ransom calls for for the discharge of the missionaries, and one of many gang’s said targets in holding the hostages was to safe from the Haitian authorities launch of Joly Germine, a 400 Mawozo chief, from jail.”

Pelice, 27, was transferred into US custody on Could 16 and made his first look on Thursday within the US District Courtroom for the District of Columbia, the Division of Justice stated.

The event got here as Haiti on Thursday commemorated the one-year anniversary of the homicide of President Jovenel Moise, whose killing created an influence vacuum and allowed the nation’s gangs to broaden their territory by a seamless wave of violence.

The kidnapping of the missionaries introduced world consideration to the facility of gangs within the Caribbean nation.

Two of the hostages had been launched in November, adopted by three extra in December. The US-based group that organised the journey to Haiti, Christian Assist Ministries, stated the remaining hostages escaped later that month.

There have been 5 kids within the group of 16 US residents and one Canadian, together with an eight-month-old. Their Haitian driver additionally was kidnapped, in keeping with a neighborhood human rights organisation.

The gang’s chief had threatened to kill the hostages until his calls for had been met, whereas Haitian authorities had stated 400 Mawozo had demanded $1m per particular person in ransom, though it was not clear if that included the youngsters.

In Could, Haitian gang chief Joly “Yonyon” Germine grew to become the primary defendant charged in relation to the missionary abductions. He has pleaded not responsible.

Haiti has for years struggled with gang violence, however kidnappings have spiked throughout the nation since final 12 months – concentrating on everybody from high-ranking authorities officers to basic residents.

Turf battles in April and Could between the Chen Mechan and 400 Mawozo gangs killed 150 folks and compelled some 10,000 from their properties, rights activists stated on the time.

protest
Demonstrators have taken to the streets demanding that the federal government of Prime Minister Ariel Henry do extra to handle gang violence and kidnappings [File: Ralph Tedy Erol/Reuters]

In the meantime, Haiti’s overwhelmed authorities is struggling to crack down on the gangs and cut back the rise in kidnappings amid persevering with political turmoil and a scarcity of functioning state establishments.

The United Nations has stated that just about seven kidnappings are reported per day and that in Could alone, greater than 200 killings and 198 abductions had been reported within the nation of greater than 11 million folks.

These kidnappings included two busloads of kids and three UN workers and their dependents. As well as, one gang not too long ago seized management of a part of Haiti’s Courtroom of First Occasion, looting and burning case recordsdata and proof.