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  • Radha Stirling

Marcus & Julie Lee´s book "Trapped" illustrates the challenges faced steering themselv

MARCUS & Julie Lee´s BOOK "TRAPPED" illustrates the challenges faced steering themselves through the labyrinth that is the UAE judicial system to ultimately prove Marcus's innocence. The issues they highlighted are incredible failings and obstacles that we continue to deal with on an ongoing basis that drastically impact countless individuals.

The UAE authorities, police, investigators and prosecutors place an nonsensical level of importance on the statements of witnesses. Often such witnesses have been coerced into providing testimony, either by conviction driven authorities or other parties with a vested interest. In Marcus´s case, false statements were produced and only after extensive efforts (unrelated to the UAE), were the statements ultimately proven to be false and withdrawn. If the team efforts did not uncover this crucial evidence, Marcus may have been sentenced to more than a decade in prison.

It is perfectly standard, albeit thoroughly inappropriate, for authorities to present statements in Arabic for the accused to sign under coercion and duress. This should be completely against the law and never admissible as evidence in court. A suspect should never have to sign any admissions or documents without being granted access or advice from their advocate. By the way, if a suspect asks for their lawyer, they will be told “no need for lawyer” and be denied access.

Bail is not automatic and the requirements can be qu