Star Industrial Holding Limited: A statement on behalf of Dr Khater Massaad – ‘RAK is now the Wild West of the Middle East’

LONDON and JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Sept. 21, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The following is a statement from Dr Khater Massaad’s legal team:

Dr Khater Massaad has been detained on 20 September 2016 at Jeddah airport under an arrest warrant issued by Ras Al-Khaimah (“RAK”), the smallest of the seven UAE emirates.

A highly regarded international businessman and Swiss national who operates Star Industrial Holdings which includes Forsan Ceramics, a $186m joint venture with local Saudi investors which is already the third largest ceramics producer in Saudi Arabia, Dr Massaad strongly denies all of the trumped-up charges brought against him. These were based on an improperly motivated 2015 RAK court decision itself unsupported by any true evidence, in a trial held in absentia and without the basic legal right of being notified before or after the trial of the purported investigation conducted against him.

This latest action by RAK is part of a long running dispute between RAK and Dr Massaad which began when he sought proper remuneration from his time as a trusted adviser to Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, and which has only been fueled by Dr Massaad’s commercial success in the ceramics industry where RAK itself is consistently losing market share.

All prior legal attempts to date by RAK against Dr Massaad and others have failed and even been denied by several courts in a number of international jurisdictions; the only partial success was by extracting a confession under duress from another individual after forcibly abducting and holding him for over a year, without trial, in a private RAK prison.

In short, RAK has turned itself into “the Wild West of the Middle East, acting as an uncontrolled sheriff with a badge”, to the increasing embarrassment of the UAE as a whole. RAK indeed still operates a peculiar and outdated justice system, not separated from the executive and fully controlled by the Sheikh, who in this matter curiously acts on the whispers of advisers seemingly motivated by matters other than the due process of law.

The Saudi authorities now have to detain Dr Massaad under internationally accepted legal principles. Dr Massaad is confident that proper judicial review will result in his release, and he will ultimately bring to justice the perpetrators of the judicial fraud conducted against him in RAK.

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