Melbourne’s Matt Joyce and Sydney’s Marcus Lee spent nine months in a Dubai jail and finally have been granted bail in the lead-up to their fraud trial, expected to begin next month.
They had been working for Dubai real estate developer Nakheel on the waterfront development when they were arrested. Joyce had been managing director and Lee commercial manager of the development.
The following details were published by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC).
Joyce’s solicitor, Martin Amad, says it is the first time an independent judicial officer has looked over the defence material submitted on his client’s behalf.
“[There are] allegations of deception, as part of his employment with Nakheel, and these allegations are vehemently denied by Matt,” he said.
“Now that he’s on bail, he looks forward to joining his wife and three children and obviously spending some quality time with them and also preparing his defence. He’s very, very confident that ultimately he’ll be found innocent of these allegations.”
The men were arrested nine months ago and were charged with fraud in July.
Mr Amad says the charges would not stand up in Australia.
“This is a completely innocent transaction,” he said.
“There’s been a total misunderstanding on behalf of the Dubai prosecution authorities. We believe the granting of bail is indicative of that. It may well be a case of a severe global financial crisis and the effect of that crisis in Dubai. It may be a number of other factors.”
The property market in Dubai suffered during the financial crisis and Mr Amad says his client’s situation is not unique.
“There have been a number of cases of expats residing and working in Dubai who have run foul of the law over there in similar circumstances and in circumstances where they likewise have been found totally innocent of any allegations,” he said.
No one knows what the truth is. I am sure all expats in Dubai will be closely watching the trial and how it will be conducted.