-- Follows Shahin's detention in Yemen
-- Court hearing delayed while Shahin seeks new lawyer
DUBAI (Zawya Dow Jones)--Dubai's public prosecutor will file new charges against a former property executive who was sent back to the United Arab Emirates from Yemen last week after jumping bail, according to a statement from the Dubai government's media office Thursday.
Zack Shahin, an American citizen and the former chief executive of Dubai's Deyaar Properties (DEYAAR.DFM), already faces a number of fraud charges. In addition, Mr. Shahin "will face charges of illegally exiting the country via paths that are in breach of the immigration and residency laws of the U.A.E.," public prosecutor Essam Al Humaidan said in the emailed statement.
Earlier on Thursday, Mr. Shahin appeared in a Dubai court for the first time since he was sent back to the U.A.E. from Yemen on Saturday. He asked for a delay in the proceedings so he could appoint a new lawyer to represent him. His former lawyer, Ali Al Shamsi, said he would no longer represent Mr. Shahin after his flight to Yemen last month.
Thursday's hearing related to a case against Mr. Shahin brought in 2009 involving alleged bribery and fraud. A new court hearing has been scheduled for October 4.
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.