Ex-Leeds MD David Haigh now faces criminal charges in Dubai

Former Leeds United managing director David Haigh will face embezzlement and breach of trust charges in Dubai after a case against him was started in the Middle-Eastern emirate’s criminal courts.

David Haigh in a recent picture taken in custody

Mr Haigh, the former deputy chief executive of Dubai-based bank GFH, has been held in custody without charge since being arrested on May 18, 2014.

GFH alleges that Mr Haigh, who protests his innocence and claims he was lured to Dubai under false pretences, defrauded it of £3 million by falsifying invoices and diverted money into accounts controlled by him.

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Earlier this year, his case suffered a blow when the Dubai courts refused to release funds from his frozen bank account and he was left without representation.

In addition to civil proceedings at the Dubai International Financial Centre Courts, the prosecutor has now started proceedings in the criminal court for breach of trust and embezzlement.

Mr Haigh is understood to be appealing for lawyers to help him on a deferred fee basis as he is currently defending himself in an Arabic speaking Sharia court.

He has lodged a counter claim against GFH, which bought Leeds United from Ken Bates in December 2012, claiming he was lured to Dubai under false pretences and for unpaid salary and bonuses he says are owed to him.

It emerged earlier this year that Mr Haigh, who claims he is the victim of human trafficking, was applying for a private criminal prosecution against two executives from the club’s former owners.

He has lodged an application for an arrest warrant to be issued for Hisham Al Rayes of Bahrain, Chief Executive Officer of GFH, and Jinesh Patel, chief executive of subsidiary GFH Capital.