Embassy officials in talks with Yemeni authorities to send absconding prisoner back home
US authorities are in talks aimed at convincing the government of Yemen to deport the former chief executive of Dubai’s Deyaar Realty back to the US rather than returning him to the UAE to face fraud charges.
Zack Shahin has been detained by Yemeni authorities after fleeing the UAE earlier this month. A report by Zawya Dow Jones has said Shahin is currently being held in a high-security prison in the Yemeni capital, San’aa, and has been visited by US embassy officials several times in recent weeks.
The embassy is pushing hard for Yemen to deport him home instead of sending him back to Dubai to face the charges, the news service said, citing Yemeni officials familiar with the matter.
“The US embassy representatives have visited Shahin and asked that he can be deported very soon out of Yemen,” one of the Yemeni officials was quoted as saying.
Last July, a UAE judge set Shahin’s bail at $1.4m, and he was released after surrendering his passport. Shortly thereafter, a spokesman for Shahin’s legal team said he was physically assaulted in his hotel in the UAE, which forced him “to take urgent and drastic steps to not only protest his physical safety, but to remain alive.”
Shahin’s lawyer in the UAE, Ali al Shamsi said he had not heard from Shahin since he disappeared and didn’t know he is in Yemen.
“If it turns out to be true that he fled the country then I am going to break the contract I signed with him,” said Al Shamsi, who has represented Shahin for five years in UAE courts.
“I refuse to defend a person who broke the rules and didn’t abide by the defence lawyer’s instructions.”