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.