The Washington Post

Ex-khashoggi attorney gets 3 years in prison


The United Arab Emirates has sentenced a U.S. citizen and former attorney for Jamal Khashoggi — the dissident Saudi journalist who was killed at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in 2018 — to three years in prison on charges of money laundering and tax evasion.

Asim Ghafoor was also ordered to pay a fine of $816,748, the UAE’S state-run WAM news agency reported over the weekend, adding that he would be deported after he completed his sentence.

The UAE framed Ghafoor’s arrest as a coordinate­d move with the United States to “combat transnatio­nal crimes.” UAE staterun media said U.S. authoritie­s had requested the UAE’S help with an investigat­ion into Ghafoor’s alleged tax evasion and suspicious money transfers in the Emirates.

Ghafoor’s U.s.-based attorney, Faisal Gill, cast doubt on that claim, saying, “If the U.S. had anything against him, why wouldn’t they just deal with it in the U.S.?”

The autocratic Gulf Arab sheikhdom announced the prison sentence a day after Washington­based human rights watchdog Democracy for the Arab World Now raised alarm about its board member’s arrest at Dubai Internatio­nal Airport.

DAWN said Ghafoor was in transit to Istanbul on Thursday when plaincloth­es security agents scooped him up and sent him to an Abu Dhabi detention facility before he could change planes.

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi did not immediatel­y respond to a request for comment.

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