Former Dubai Islamic Bank execs in fraud trial

A DUBAI court restarted a fraud trial against two former executives of Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) yesterday having changed their status to government officials, making a stricter punishment more likely.

The two, and five other suspects, are accused of defrauding DIB, in which the Dubai government owns a 30 per cent stake, of 1.8bn dirhams (£316.7m). It was not clear why they were charged previously as private sector workers.

The United Arab Emirates penal code stipulates more severe punishment for government employees and UAE law treats all workers in state-related entities as public sector employees.

Dubai, the Gulf’s tourism and trading hub, launched an anti-corruption campaign in 2008 that saw the arrest of several high-profile business figures, including government ministers.

Since its debt crisis, Dubai, one of the UAE’s seven emirates, has been doing forensic audits at state-linked firms.

The two men, Pakistani citizens, were arrested in 2008 and first appeared before a Dubai criminal court in March this year.

But prosecutors refiled the case against the two defendants yesterday after the court asked them to do so in August, charging them as government officials.

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