Briton Nico Consari pleads "I am still being held HOSTAGE by Dubai police after 1.5 years!”
British man Nico Consari was arrested in late 2015 after being falsely accused of misappropriating funds from a company he did NOT work for and had no access to even commit the alleged crime.
Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai and Partner at Haigh Stirling said
"Unfortunately, unsuspecting expats can be used as scapegoats by the actual people who have committed the crime. In pointing the finger at someone else, the true offender is able to quickly move to secure their freedom while all of the attention is on the victim of the fraud. The UAE system allows this because no real evidence is required by the police or prosecutor when someone makes a complaint and anyone can fall victim. We are lobbying the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other Embassies to increase their travel and advisory information to warn British Nationals of this common form of legal abuse that can lead to years of arbitrary detention, or worse”.
Nico Consari has not been charged or prosecuted in Dubai because there is no evidence that he has committed a crime. The prosecutor however, has retained him in police detention “under investigation”.
David Haigh, Solicitor and Partner at Stirling Haigh said
“this is not only a breach of local UAE legal procedure but a breach of human rights, requiring urgent diplomatic intervention” - David Haigh
Mr Consari has attended the Court and several occasions but the purpose has been to either extend his detention or to award bail. On three occasions, the Court has ordered that he be bailed but the Prosecutor has refused to comply with the orders and has continued to hold him. Nico Consari is suffering tremendously and can not understand how in a seemingly modern country, such violations are allowed. A confused Nico said
“Is this blackmail? Is it corruption? Are they torturing me to extort funds from me? Why should my family and I pay for something we were never involved in? All will come to light” - Nico Consari
Radha Stirling said
“Corruption in the legal system is still rampant and the UAE government has preferred to hide the issues through their media office, rather than address the problems head on which is a great shame on the country” - Radha Stirling
Nico, understandable at his whits end, continued
“I have lost many things physically, financially and emotionally. To be honest, I cannot stand this horrible and unfair situation anymore and I don’t know what more I can do”.
Sadly, Radha Stirling has been involved with numerous cases of arbitrary detentions over the years. An Australian national Marcus Lee, was also locked up at the police station for almost a year before finally being bailed. He was forbidden to leave the UAE for four years before he was finally completely acquitted of all allegations. Stirling said
“Marcus Lee was fortunate in that he also benefited from diplomatic intervention and a parallel legal case in Australia that proved the evidence relied upon was fabricated. The UAE takes hearsay evidence quite seriously and will rule on the basis of the assumption that accusers are telling the truth rather than actually investigating the merits” - Radha Stirling
Ben Cooper, a respected extradition barrister in the UK, along with Stirling Haigh, recently called on the British and Irish Commercial Bar Association (BICBA) to suspend their joint conference in Dubai that was planned to promote the location as a world arbitration centre. The BICBA responded to calls to cancel their event as a result of evidenced gross human rights violations, corruption and legal abuse.
Stirling Haigh said “The unfair detention of Nico Consari is outside of legal procedures in the UAE, breaching even their own local laws. In cases like this, the FCO must diplomatically intervene to protect the rights of their citizens. Given that Nico's case highlights the fact that the UAE does not uphold its own Constitution or local laws, the United Kingdom should review the Extradition Treaty in place with the UAE. No British Citizen should ever be extradited to a country where abuse, corruption and human rights violations have been evidenced so frequently. Retaining the Extradition Treaty is a cost burden on UK taxpayers who support attempted extraditions by the UAE that are never granted. While the UK appreciates its financial trade deals with the UAE, this should never be prioritised over citizen rights. We are gaining the support of legal bodies, politicians and universities to pressure the United Kingdom government to raise these cases and overall issues with the UAE government."
Pressure is mounting against the UK government as legally abused citizens are seeking remedy against the FCO for failing to intervene in matters that breach their Treaty with the UAE. The government has a duty to enforce their Treaty if the UAE has violated it.