An Egyptian lawyer collapsed in Dubai’s highest court on Monday after suffering a cardiac arrest while defending an Emirati lawyer accused of corruption and fraud.
The Emirati lawyer, Khalid (real name withheld), is to spend three years in jail after Dubai Cassation Court convicted him of embezzling £60 million (N14bn) from Thailand’s ex-prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, over a £150 million deal to buy England’s premier league Manchester City Football Club.
Fifteen minutes into his closing argument before presiding judge Mohammad Nabeel Riyadh, Ali Obaid suffered a sudden cardiac arrest before falling to his knees, hitting a wooden stand and collapsing to the floor unconscious.
Presiding judge Riyadh immediately held the hearing in recess to allow court police to call for an ambulance.
Obaid, from Alexandria, Egypt died later in hospital after repeated attempts failed to resuscitate him in courtroom 20.
Obaid was said to be a diabetic and heart patient. Minutes before his collapse he requested the court’s permission to drink water.
Advocate Obaid and his compatriot fellowman advocate Mukhtar Abdul Raouf were brought in especially from Egypt and obtained a special authorisation to defend Khalid.
Shortly after paramedics rushed Obaid to hospital, advocate Abdul Raouf took the stand and produced nearly an hour-long closing argument.
At around noon, the Cassation Court handed an irrevocable judgement in which it rejected Khalid’s appeal and confirmed his three-year jail term.
Khalid was convicted of embezzling the cash after it was deposited in his law firm’s bank account as an entrustment for the Thai premier to purchase Manchester City Football Club.
Khalid was however cleared of breach of trust, a separate charge of embezzlement, attempted fraud and forgery.
He pleaded not guilty before the Courts of Misdemeanour and Appeal relating to charges of defrauding and embezzling Shinawatra’s money.
The Emirati defendant was also acquitted of embezzling $25.4 million from Shinawatra which he had transferred to the defendant’s account. He was cleared of three other embezzlement counts, forgery and fraud.