Malaysian Foreign Minister discusses Richard Lau case; set to visit citizen detained without charge in UAE for 10 months. Renewed hope for his return home in time for Chinese New Year celebrations.
In a statement, Dato' Sri Anifah Aman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Malaysia, has announced he has been in discussion with UAE ministers and Sultan Sayeed Badi, Minister of Justice in the UAE, regarding the ongoing detention without charge of Malaysian national, Richard Lau.
Dato' Sri Anifah Aman was accompanied by the Ambassador of Malaysia to the UAE, the Consul General of Malaysia in Dubai and officers of the Malaysian General Consulate in Dubai, who met for 30 minutes.
The announcement continues that the purpose of the meeting with the UAE is to cooperate in resolving the urgent issue of Mr. Richard Lau.
During the discussion, the UAE Legal Minister announced that the UAE Government will assist in every way possible to settle the case, which has seen Richard detained without charge for nearly one year.
Malaysia’s foreign minister is also expected to visit Richard Lau in Ras Al Khaimah central prison,on 14 February 2018, where he has been imprisoned without charge since April 27, 2017.
The minister’s statement says that investigations are being carried out by local authorities who are collecting evidence regarding a financial transaction related to Mr. Richard Lau's bank account. However, holding Richard for so long without evidence is unjustified.
Detained in Dubai, the UK legal NGO who have been supporting Mr Lau and his family throughout their ordeal, have released a parallel statement congratulating both parties on their cooperation in this matter.
Richard Lau, imprisoned without charge in Ras Al Khamah for over 9 months.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai says, “we welcome the intervention of both parties in this matter. Our client, Richard Lau has been held without charge for almost a year in Ras AL Khaimah prison, for simply receiving his wages.
"Every month Richard has faced a review of his detention, always hopeful of being granted release. But the detention is always renewed on the grounds that the public prosecutor had not had time to gather enough evidence. That means that Richard is literally being detained because there is insufficient evidence to detain him, which is unacceptable”.
Richard’s family who have been beside themselves with worry are hoping to see him home in time for Chinese New Year, which this year falls on Friday February 16th. The family has expressed their deep gratitude to Minister Anifah for his active intervention, “that Dato' Sri Anifah flew to Dubai personally to talk to the UAE government and will be visiting Richard, means the world to us. We are hopeful for more good news soon,” said Richard’s sister Eileen.
Ms Stirling continues, “we wish Richard and his family a Happy New Year and hope that today's meetings will see their wishes come true by Friday.
“We would like to take this opportunity to urge all ministers and consulate staff to respond in a similar manner to the Malaysian Government. We have other clients involved with the Ras Al Khaimah government at many levels, all of whom would appreciate this kind of intervention from their own governments."