October 24, 2016

Gay Briton avoids extradition to Dubai after fears of torture in ultra-conservative state

A GAY man has managed to avoid being taken to
trial in Dubai after a judge ruled there was
a risk he could be tortured.

The London court made the ruling after
deciding that it was unlikely he would be
given a fair trial in the United Arab
Emirates, where homosexuality is illegal.

Micheal Halliday is alleged to have stolen
more than £118,000 which disappeared from a
safe at a department store where he was
working in Dubai– a claim he has consistently

Halliday, 32, was terrified of facing Dubai’s
courts, saying: “The fact that I’m openly gay
would mean that there would be prejudice
against me.”

District Judge Jeremy Coleman said: “The
trial, treatment and conditions of those
accused or convicted of criminal offences in
the UAE is still the subject of complaint and
is often alleged to fall well below the
required standards.

“Taking into account Mr Halliday’s own
circumstances, I cannot be satisfied that he
would not be at significant risk.

“The UAE remains adamant that it will not
allow prison inspections because the
extradition treaty makes such inspections
both unnecessary and inappropriate.”

Over the past five years there have been 43
cases of British nationals complaining of
torture or mistreatment when caught up in the
UEA’s justice system – with 19 of those
allegedly suffering physical beatings.

The judge added he did not believe Halliday,
from the Midlands had been falsely accused of
the crime because of his sexuality.

He added: “It could be argued that by going
to live and work in another country,
individuals have to accept the attitudes of
that country and the law and practices of the
criminal justice system.”

Halliday was thankful that he could continue
his life without fear of extradition, saying:
“It is not the clearing of my name that I

He added: “It was more a serious question as
to whether there was a realistic prospect of
me being able to prove my innocence at trial
given the UAE’s unfair justice system [has a]
poor track record in [its] treatment of
foreign prisoners – and particularly members
of the LGBT community.”

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