Family hopeful Safi Qurashi will be freed after court decision
Jailed British billionaire Safi Qurashi, the man who bought Great Britain in Dubai's 'World' island development, is set to be freed after judges ruled two of his bounced cheque charges were unsound.
The 43-year-old, who has been in Dubai Central Prison for nearly three years, has continuously protested his innocence since being jailed for three bounced cheques in 2010.
His family said that jail bosses were adding up the time he has served for the two quashed cases against one outstanding case, which comes before Dubai’s Cassation Court on Monday, to see exactly when Qurashi can leave the prison.
The case to be heard on Monday, July 30, involves a security cheque that should have been returned to him after he paid the money.
Qurashi’s sister, Hina, told 7DAYS: “It’s absolutely fantastic news. We are just waiting to hear when Safi can be released. He has spent two and a half years in jail.
“The case on Monday has also been referred back by the Attorney General. The cheque involved should have been returned to him.
“We are hoping that by Monday all three cases will be quashed.
“It has all come at a big personal loss to him and his family. He has no home to go to, that has been lost.”
Quarashi’s family, including his 13-year-old daughter Sara and her sister Maaria, 11, relentlessly campaigned to highlight his case. They made videos appealing to the Dubai authorities.
Earlier this year Qurashi claimed to have joined a group of hunger strikers in a last-ditch attempt to have his case looked at again.
In the only interview he gave from inside the prison, 19 days into his protest, he told 7DAYS: “Under the law the court has to prove bad intent. Simply bouncing a cheque is not enough proof of that.
“My family has spent two years running around from department to department. Nobody wants the responsibility of investigating. The only way now is the hunger strike. No-one wants to hear us.”
Hina said: “The children are desperately excited. It has been one major, major journey and a very difficult one for all the family.
“We are just glad to think it has finally come to an end. We’re on standby for Safi’s release.”