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US businessman gets 15 years in Dubai fraud case

Monday - 3/25/2013, 7:20am  ET

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- A Dubai court has convicted an American businessman for fraud and sentenced him to 15 years' imprisonment after a nearly five-year legal battle that included a hunger strike and a failed attempt to flee.

The case against Lebanese-born Zack Shahin also brought diplomatic tensions between the United Arab Emirates and the Unites States, which backed Shahin's demand for a trial after years in detention.

Washington did not immediately comment on Monday's sentencing, which also includes fines totaling more than $7.8 million for Shahin and three others.

The Dubai criminal court found Shahin guilty of taking nearly $5.5 million in bribes as head of Dubai-based Deyaar Development. He denied wrongdoing.

Shahin staged a hunger strike before being granted bail in July 2012. He escaped to Yemen, but was returned to Dubai.


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