“I plead for your attention and intervention” – Son of André Gauthier, Canadian detained in Dubai, appeals to ruler Sheikh Mohammed
Alexis Gauthier appeals to ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum
Andre’s Gauthier’s dedicated son Alexis, has been campaigning for his father’s release for years and has now appealed to Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, the Ruler of Dubai, for help.
Alexis, who lives in Quebec and speaks to his father regularly, has been disappointed with the Canadian government’s progress in discussions related to his father’s wrongful detention. Attempts to diplomatically resolve the injustice have been ignored by the government of Dubai with Canada seeming reluctant to escalate their communications.
André and Alexis Gauthier
The Ruler of Dubai has been known to swiftly intervene in cases where foreign nationals have been arrested for trivial or touristic matters, as well as granting pardons throughout Ramadan for more serious crimes. It is certainly within Sheikh Mohammed’s power to review the case of André Gauthier and this would surely lead to André’s freedom and safe return to his family in Canada.
André Gauthier’s nightmare began when he uncovered and reported fraud in GoldAE, then the biggest gold investment company in the Middle East. Several officers of the company fled Dubai and in fact, went on to open similar companies abroad to allegedly commit new frauds, one of which is under investigation by Canadian authorities. Mohammed Abu al Haj, who has used other identities, convinced confused investors to open cases against André instead of him.
Whistleblower André Gauthier. Abu al Haj who is under investigation for new Canadian venture Canndollar.
Finally, the truth has come to light but André remains in detention due to administrative errors within the judicial process. Each investor opened a separate case against André for exactly the same allegation. All cases should have been ruled upon in December, but the court only ruled on 11 of the 73.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, who has been representing André, said “At the hearing today for Andre Gauthier, the judge ruled on 11 cases which had been appealed by Andre’s lawyers, and found him ‘not guilty’. However, the court claimed that 62 cases remain that were not appealed by Andre’s former lawyer within the allowed time period; so the previous judgments in these cases still stand. This is a gross miscarriage of justice. If Andre is now the victim of his attorney’s incompetence, this cannot be accepted as a reason to retain the lower court judgment. Clearly, upon appeal in the 11 cases, which are identical to all the others, the court found Andre ‘not guilty’. This ruling should be applied to the remaining cases, and the previous judgments should be overturned. There is no reason whatsoever for only 11 out of 73 cases to be appealed; either this is due to incompetence by Andre’s former attorney, or a failure of the court clerk’s office in recording the submission of the appeals; unless the appeals were deliberately ignored.
“Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum, Ruler of Dubai has the ability to intervene in this matter, and clearly see that there has been a grave injustice and help Andre get home to his family. The Canadian government will need to escalate their diplomatic efforts and the Dubai Courts need a complete overhaul. The UAE is not at a point where investors and visitors can feel safe. Until this case is addressed and the core issues, visitors and investors put their lives at risk.”
Alexis has appealed to Sheikh Mohammed in a heartfelt letter, “I cannot emphasise enough how much stress and hardship these events have caused to our family. I have been advocating for my father’s freedom and finally, I plead for your attention and intervention. Please help me get my father home.” Alexis went on to point out “ If the courts had all cases before them, they would have ruled him innocent on all counts.”
Radha Stirling, is founder and CEO of UK / USA based legal and human rights organisation Detained in Dubai, Expert Witness and respected analyst of Middle East Policy.