The former CEO of Drake & Scull (DSI) Khaldoun Al Tabari, his daughter and others still face civil proceedings in Dubai courts, in addition to 15 criminal cases before the country’s Federal Public Prosecutor, according to the company.

Despite facing no attempt to seize assets in Jordan, courts have frozen Al Tabari’s assets in the UAE, under the instructions of the Federal Public Prosecutor, DSI said in a statement of clarification to Dubai Financial Market (DFM) today.

“With reference to the news circulated in the Jordanian newspapers on Wednesday, December 8, 2021, it was reported that the Jordanian Courts had acquitted the businessman Khaldoun Al Tabari and his daughter Zina from all the cases brought against them by the public prosecutor.

“DSI confirms that there are several civil cases still pending before the Dubai courts, in addition to 15 criminal cases that remain before the Federal Public Prosecutor in the UAE against Khaldoun Al Tabari, his daughter Zina and others,” the statement said.

It was announced that the Jordanian prosecutor had indicted former CEO and vice chairman Al Tabari and his daughter, who was formerly an executive director at the firm, on several charges including fraud in January 2021, following his arrest in 2020. 

But, Jordanian newspapers, including the website Ammon, reported yesterday that they had been acquitted on all charges.

In DSI’s most recent financial results, published in November, auditors EY expressed significant doubts about the group’s ability to continue as a going concern, as accumulated losses as of 30 September 2021 amounted to AED 4.843 billion ($1.318 billion) and its current liabilities exceeded its current assets by AED 4.008 billion.

“Also, the Group had negative cash flow from operations of AED 88 million for the nine months period ended 30 September 2021,” the report said.

The results report for the third quarter of 2021 said the company was following up the extradition of the former CEO and vice chairman to get him extradited to the UAE following his arrest in Jordan, but no update on the extradition proceedings was made in its most recent stock market statement on the matter. 

However, in a statement issued to the press, Tabari said: "I am pleased to confirm the Jordanian courts have acquitted me of all allegations and charges. 

"For several years now, I have been facing parallel criminal and commercial allegations in the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. On the request of DSI PJSC the UAE public prosecutor in June 2018 froze my assets and bank accounts, started an investigation and issued an Interpol red notice for my extradition to the UAE. 

"Following the rejection of the extradition by the preliminary and supreme courts in Jordan I was prosecuted by the Jordanian public prosecutor in line with the bilateral government agreements. 

"The Jordanian preliminary court and supreme [court] over a 20-month period declared my innocence acquitted me of all charges. I have also been removed off the Interpol red notice and free to travel."

Tabari said the recent Jordanian court judgement relates to the same set of 15 allegations made in the UAE, which remain under investigation in the emirates. He said: "the Jordanian courts have rejected these complaints as unfounded and upheld my innocence". 

(Reporting by Imogen Lillywhite; editing by Daniel Luiz)

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