A retired businessman has won his fight against extradition to the UAE after he faced being deported for helping his daughter escape her troubled marriage there.
The grandfather, of Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire, faced torture if he was sent back.
He left his whole life, including his business, behind when he left after five years in October 2010 to help his daughter escape the violent marriage.
He suffers from chronic asbestosis and has struggled to rebuild his life in Scotland ever since his return.
His former son-in-law, Saeed Al Mehri, 45, accused him of a ‘breach of trust’ after he realised there was no hope of reigniting his relationship with Sharon, or her daughter, eight.
The UAE then reported the case to Interpol and has being trying to get him extradited there since 2013.
Today the extradition request was finally turned down at a court hearing at Edinburgh Sheriff Court.
Speaking at the hearing, Sheriff Thomas Welsh said there was a risk he be tortured if he was sent back for the potential one-year prison sentence.
His is believed to be the first attempted extradition to the UAE from Scotland.
Following the hearing, Mr Black said he was relieved but exhausted: ‘I am feeling great and very relieved.
‘It was a very strong judgement against the extradition from the Sheriff.
‘It’s just been hearing after hearing, I think I have had 20 or more, plus eight full days of court – it’s been exhausting.’
Mr Black employed his former son-in-law as a local representative for his international logistics business in Dubai to use his ‘local influence’ to help with the company.
But Mr Al Mehri reportedly began drinking heavily and acting abusively, the hearing was told.
Mr Black’s daughter Sharon then decided to leave the UAE permanently with their daughter, Alya Black, eight, and return to Scotland.
It is believed Mr Al Mehri then fabricated the ‘breach of trust’ allegations in a bid to force his wife and child back to the Emirates.
Mr Black added today said: ‘This has been a very scary experience for my family.
In 2010, when I came back to Scotland it was clear Saeed was very angry we had got out, but he still hoped and tried to reconcile his relationship with my daughter.
‘In 2011, my daughter, against my better judgement, decided it was unfair for her to not allow her daughter to have a relationship with Saeed.
‘So he came over here to Scotland to visit us, and then again in 2012.
‘He became very anxious to get my granddaughters passport back to the UAE for renewal, and it was at that point Sharon told him Alya was a British citizen now.
‘He realised there was no chance they were going to reignite their relationship.
‘And in 2013, after my daughter received a lot of threats from him, out of the blue this case came against me.’
Mr Al Mehri accused Mr Black of stealing a share of the businesses, which Mr Black branded as ‘laughable’ and a ‘total joke’.
He said: ‘Saeed along with his brother, who is a chief prosecutor, convicted me of this breach of trust, in my absence, and then tried to go for extradition.
‘It was all a complete fabrication and utter nonsense.’
Mr Black was then convicted of a £250,000 embezzlement – despite him not being in the country at the time.
Solicitor David Haigh, managing partner of law firm Stirling Haigh testified earlier on in the extradition hearing.
Mr Haigh, who is a former managing director of Leeds United Football club, spoke of his own personal experience with the UAE legal system after he was wrongly imprisoned himself.
Radha Stirling, CEO of civil and criminal justice experts Detained in Dubai, also provided expert testimony at an earlier stage in the hearing.
She said: ‘The UAE is increasingly using Interpol for frivolous cases that do not even fall under its mandate.
‘Interpol is not an instrument to be used in private disputes, yet the UAE frequently reports non-criminal matters such as debt defaults and bounced cheques.
‘Mr Black’s case is particularly alarming because not only is it a private matter, but the motive behind it is essentially a personal grudge.’
If Mr Black were to have been extradited, given the personal nature of the case, and the family connections and influence of his former son-in-law, he would be in danger of serious violations of his human rights.’
‘It appears that the goal of this case was to force Mr Black’s daughter to return to the UAE, and the case was being used as leverage to coerce her capitulation.
‘Both David and I spent several days giving evidence. I was examined for approximately nine hours, showing just how thorough proceedings were.’
The cost of UAE extradition requests is high, estimated to be in the millions per year – with prosecutors acting on behalf of the UAE at the UK taxpayer’s cost.
There are court costs, prosecuting counsel and defence counsel costs, usually covered by legal aid.
Robin, Klopa. “Lesmahagow Grandfather Will Not Be Extradited to UAE.” DeathRattleSports.com, 18 Nov. 2017, deathrattlesports.com/lesmahagow-grandfather-will-not-be-extradited-to-uae/168841.