U.S. Citizen Zack Shahin Released on Bail from Dubai Prison; Shahin’s Legal Counsel Urges Dubai to Heed the U.S. Government’s Call for a Consolidation of Shahin’s Remaining Charges and for a Fair, Transparent, and Open Trial
WASHINGTON, July 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — U.S. citizen Zack Shahin was released today on bail, after spending four years, three months, and 19 days imprisoned in Dubai awaiting trial. Following a seven-week hunger strike and thanks in part to the U.S. government publicly urging the U.A.E. government to grant bail, Shahin was released on bond after meeting bail conditions including posting a $1.4 million (Dh $5 million) guarantee and surrendering his passport as surety.
Zack Shahin issued the following statement: “Since my arrest in March 2008, all I have asked for is the same treatment under the law as other Emirati defendants standing accused of similar charges. Now that Dubai authorities have taken the first step for equal due process for all defendants by granting my bail, I look forward to the opportunity to prove my innocence during a fair, transparent, and open trial. I want to thank the U.S. Department of State for their efforts in helping secure my bail following my over four year imprisonment. Without the U.S. Embassy in U.A.E.’s public call for my release on bail, I am certain I would still be languishing in my prison cell. I also appreciate the U.A.E. government for heeding the U.S. Charge d’Affaire’s public call for my release and hope the authorities in Dubai also will take note of the U.S. government urging a consolidation of my charges so my legal counsel may more effectively defend me and the call for a fair trial. As I work with my legal team to prove my innocence, I will seek qualified medical attention to bring my health back.”
U.S. legal counsel to Zack Shahin also stated: “The U.S. State Department has repeatedly recognized that UAE’s judicial system is far from independent, with strong influence on court decisions coming from UAE’s political leadership and nepotism. As Zack Shahin enters the next stage to prove his innocence in Dubai, we urge the State Department to make clear the need for Dubai to hold a fair, transparent, and open trial for Zack and all other foreign businessmen. We intend to closely monitor all procedural hearings leading up to Zack’s defense case and will not hesitate to publicly point out any irregularities in the prosecutor’s case and/or judge’s decisions which could impact Zack’s ability to receive a fair trial. U.S. Charge d’Affaires L. Victor Hurtado also urged that ‘the several outstanding pending cases against Mr. Shahin can be consolidated, allowing him to defend himself more effectively.’ Now that Dubai authorities have taken the first step to ensure due process for Zack, the world will watch and hope that a consolidation of cases occurs before the next scheduled hearing and that the consolidated trial adheres to international standards of the rule of law.”
U.S. legal counsel to Zack Shahin are Jim Jatras, Rebekah Poston, and Eric Akers.
SOURCE U.S. Legal Counsel for Zack Shahin