Safi Qurashi was a successful property developer.Until he was convicted of bouncing $80 million in checks by a court in Dubai and was sentenced to seven years in jail recently.
Now he’s begging Queen Elizabeth to save him, the Evening Standard reports.
Queen Elizabeth arrived in the UAE yesterday on a state visit, and Qurashi wants her to save him, since she happens to be in town.
So he wrote the Queen a letter that has been published in the Telegraph,
He explains that he faced only two one-minute hearings before he was found guilty of bouncing checks – a crime in the United Arab Emirates – and also said he was refused access to a lawyer, then handcuffed to a chair for eight hours after he was arrested in January.
He asks for her sympathy, by describing how he’s been mistreated. And he appeals to her pride, sucking up to her by writing that with her “special friendship” with the UAE leader, she should be able to influence him to “pardon all the British nationals who have been unfairly detained in Dubai.”
Here’s what he writes in his letter, via the Telegraph:
My life took a dramatic turn on Friday 15th January 2010, when two plain clothed officers arrested me for bouncing a cheque and took me to CID headquarters. I was held for eight hours in a cell… No phone calls. No lawyer.
There I was kept handcuffed to a chair for another 8 hours. No-one spoke English. I was asked two questions: my name and whether I signed two cheques. When I answered yes, I was sent to Port Rashid jail at 4am.
I got a new lawyer who spent five minutes with me. When I said surely he needed input from me, he responded “this is not England, we do things our way”… There were two hearings – each one a minute long. Two questions were asked and I was sentenced: a seven year jail term. I realised that the judge had neither read nor reviewed any of the evidence. He did not establish whether I actually broke the law. A cheque bounced. Nothing else was considered.
Qurashi says his family, who he moved to Dubai from London six years ago, are suffering “mental torture” because of his imprisonment.
The 41-year-old was well known for having dropped $70 million on a man-made island in the shape of Great Britain (part of The World, a man-made archipelago off the coast of Dubai) and having developed one of the first internet cafes in London.Now he’s had to shutter his property firm, Premier Real Estate Bureau, which once turned over about $635 million a year.