The UAE embassy in Washington issues a statement regarding the case of Jamal Khashoggi’s former lawyer

Dubai, United Arab Emirates (CNN) – The Emirati embassy in Washington issued a statement on Monday regarding the conviction of an Emirati court, Assem Ghafour, the former lawyer for journalist Jamal Khashoggi, of “committing two crimes of tax evasion and money laundering related to a tax evasion operation in his country.”

The UAE embassy said, in a statement published by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, that “the case reflects extensive legal cooperation in the United Arab Emirates and the United States to combat cross-border financial crimes.”

On May 25, the Abu Dhabi Money Laundering Court punished “Ghafoor” with three years in prison, a fine of three million dirhams ($816,000), and deported him from the UAE.

The embassy statement said that the UAE began its investigation in 2020 into Ghafoor’s activities after receiving an official request from the US embassy in Abu Dhabi.

According to the statement, the UAE investigation concluded that “Ghafoor” committed tax evasion and money laundering of at least $4.9 million through international money transfers through the UAE banking system. The statement indicated that he opened one account early in 2013, and closed another in 2020 after discovering suspicious activity.

Although Ghafoor was not a resident of the UAE, he made dozens of cash deposit and debit transactions to his accounts through ATMs located in the UAE by an unknown third party using Ghafoor’s bank cards.

Ghafoor plans to appeal his conviction at his next court appearance on August 9. Ghafoor appeared in court twice.

In a previous session, the court rejected Ghafoor’s request to release him on bail pending appeal, but he remains in contact with his family and US consular officials, according to the statement.

Ghafoor denied his involvement in tax evasion and money laundering.

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