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Zack Shahin
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Zack Shahin

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We have ONE question for the U.S. government...
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Zack Shahin

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He was released on $1.4 million bail in July after Washington expressed concern about his health but fled for Yemen which sent him back to Dubai. His lawyers had hoped he would be deported to the United States.
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While only lawyers licensed in the U.A.E. can represent clients in Dubai's courts, James Jatras, one of Mr. Shahin's U.S. lawyers, attended the hearing and talked briefly to Mr. Shahin.

Mr. Jatras has put in a request to see his client in detention but was unsure where Mr. Shahin was being held until later Thursday, when he said he learned of his transfer to Dubai's central prison. A prison official confirmed that Mr. Shahin was there.

Mr. Shahin's is one of the most high-profile cases to crop up in Dubai in the aftermath of the financial crisis, which sunk the emirate's once-buoyant real estate market. The Ohio-raised former chief executive was arrested in 2008 and subsequently charged with fraud as Dubai tried to crack down on alleged financial misdeeds at some of its biggest companies. Mr. Shahin denies the charges.

Following his arrest, Mr. Shahin was held for more than four years as several cases against him proceeded. He went on a hunger strike for almost two months earlier this year, and U.S. diplomats in the U.A.E. took the unusual step of publicly urging for the consolidation of the cases and his release on bail.

Mr. Shahin was released in July after posting bail of 5 million U.A.E. dirhams ($1.36 million). Last month, however, a spokesman for his U.S. legal team said he was attacked at the hotel where he was staying and, fearing for his safety, decided to flee the country. Mr. Shahin wound up in Yemen, where he was caught and detained before being sent back to the U.A.E. on Saturday. His bail has been revoked because he breached its conditions, according to the statement from the public prosecutor.
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An American businessman accused of financial crimes in Dubai appeared before a court Thursday after being caught fleeing the country, but it is not clear how he will be defended.

The resurfacing of Zack Shahin after his attempt to return to the United States via Yemen is the latest development in a four year legal saga that has sparked a rare public dispute between Washington and the United Arab Emirates, which it counts as a key Arab ally.

Shahin spoke briefly to a member of his U.S.-based legal team, James Jatras, at the court hearing. Jatras described his client as looking tired and thinner than he has appeared previously, but added that Shahin “indicated that he was ok.”
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A spokesman for Shahin's U.S. legal counsel said Yemen had originally agreed to deport Shahin to the United States, an emergency passport was obtained from there and travel arrangements were finalized for a flight on August 18 to Istanbul.

"With less than 90 minutes until his flight departed from Sanaa, Zack was notified (by Yemeni authorities) ... he would continue to be detained," spokesman Darren Spinck said in an emailed statement.

"The U.S. Embassy and U.S. consular officials in Yemen had failed the most basic role of the overseas diplomatic corps - protect the life and interests of U.S. citizens abroad."

Shahin was deported to the UAE on September 1 and is now believed to be held at the public prosecutor's office, though there is no official confirmation of his location, Spinck added.
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Zack Shahin

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Attorneys Seek Congressional Assistance for help in Freeing Zack Shahin from Prison in Dubai! Read more here > reut.rs/1h3ZnAf
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Shahin appeared at Dubai Court of First Instance on Thursday morning in relation to one of the corruption cases. He asked the judge to adjourn the case as he had been unable to contact his UAE lawyer.

“I haven't been able to get in touch with my lawyer here and I don't know where he is,” Shahin told the judge.
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Shahin's U.S. lawyer said he was pleased that his client was now being held in a regular jail, rather than the more secretive detention conditions he faced after deportation.

"Regarding the immigration charge, this was expected. The judge had earlier said that would be a possibility but that he would not be charged with breaking bail," lawyer James Jatras, currently in Dubai, told Reuters.

Shahin's lawyers said last month that he feared for his life after threats were made against him in the UAE.
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"I haven't been able to get in touch with my lawyer here and I don't know where he is," Mr Shahin told Judge Hamad Abdul Latif. "I would like another date for the hearing to prepare my defence and [consult] with a lawyer."

Mr Shahin, who was appearing for the first time since he was arrested by Yemeni authorities and returned to the UAE, said he was being detained in a UAE state facility, but was unsure exactly where. He has not been able to meet his US legal team, but has managed to speak to them on the telephone.
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The American embassy in Sanaa "dropped the ball" in the Zack Shahin case, a member of his US legal team says.

James Jatras, a Washington lobbyist and member of Zack Shahin's five-man US legal team, told The National the American embassy in Sanaa dragged its feet before issuing an emergency passport to the fugitive during his two-week detention in Yemen.

"It ended up being a tooth-pulling exercise in Yemen," said Mr Jatras. "They claimed that it would take a few weeks to issue an emergency passport, forcing me to send them copies of the State Department's regulations to show them that we understand it does not."
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U.S. citizen detained in Dubai for over 1,500 days without trial! Husband & father of two. Waiting on U.S. government to help U.S. citizen!
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