Today Jamie Harron was sentenced to 3 months imprisonment for accidentally brushing the hip of an Arab customer at the Rock Bottom bar in Dubai. Key witnesses to the incident were not called upon to testify to discredit the allegations brought by Emad Tabaza, the Managing Director of Neuman & Esser. Jamie will appeal the verdict, though this will prolong his increasingly difficult circumstances in Dubai, and compound the enormous financial losses he has suffered as a consequence of the ongoing case.
Jamie is yet to be sentenced to two other charges stemming from the case; that of consuming alcohol, and for allegedly making a rude gesture against Mr Tabaza. He was previously sentenced to 30 days in prison for failing to appear at a court hearing the date of which he had not been notified of in advance. He has already spent several months stranded in the UAE over this case, lost his job, and is in danger of losing his home as he struggles to pay legal expenses.
Though the German company that employs Mr Tabaza, Neuman & Esser, claims that Tabaza sought to dismiss the case in August, there is no documentation to support this, and Mr Tabaza has never appeared in court to request a dismissal. Indeed, Neuman & Esser issued an aggressive statement reiterating the allegations against Jamie and appear unusually interested in seeing the young Scotsman jailed in the UAE’s notorious prison system; although there is a deafening public outcry against the case.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, commented, “Now Jamie has been sentenced to 3 months; there is no telling whether a judgment on appeal will be better or worse. He has already suffered tremendously as a result of these allegations, and now faces the likelihood of incarceration. His family was unable to visit him during this critical time because they faced a very real risk of imprisonment themselves under the UAE’s cybercrime laws which forbid criticism of the government. At this point, Jamie will definitely be pursuing civil action against his accusers when he does eventually return home, as it appears that he will not be able to find justice in the UAE.” Jamie, she said, is understandably distraught. “He is angry, disappointed, and dreads what may happen next. He feels betrayed and exploited by the system, which did not investigate the reports of key witnesses in his defence and led him to believe that the case would be dropped. He can’t understand why a company like Neuman & Esser came out so publicly to repeat the defamatory allegations of Mr Tabaza, and he is intent on pursuing further legal action.”