DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – A Dubai court has convicted an American businessman for fraud and sentenced him to 15 years’ imprisonment after a nearly five-year legal battle that included a hunger strike and a failed attempt to flee.
The case against Lebanese-born Zack Shahin also brought diplomatic tensions between the United Arab Emirates and the Unites States, which backed Shahin’s demand for a trial after years in detention.
Washington did not immediately comment on Monday’s sentencing, which also includes fines totaling more than $7.8 million for Shahin and three others.
The Dubai criminal court found Shahin guilty of taking nearly $5.5 million in bribes as head of Dubai-based Deyaar Development. He denied wrongdoing.
Shahin staged a hunger strike before being granted bail in July 2012. He escaped to Yemen, but was returned to Dubai.
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