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Andre Gauthier spends Christmas in Dubai jail after court rejects appeal

Canadian geologist, Andre Gauthier who has been jailed in Dubai on charges of fraud in a gold company, has urged the Canadian government to hold pressure on the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for his release.

Gauthier’s son, Alexis said a panel of judges in Dubai dismissed his father’s appeal on a technicality, on Tuesday. He also told that his father, since 2015, is detained in the Middle East, and the current circumstances suggest that he might remain in a Dubai prison perpetually.

According to Andre Gauthier’s family, he was a whistle-blower who informed the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities about gaps in dealings of a gold-trading company, Gold AE. However, the authorities arrested him rather than appreciating him for his efforts. He was charged for committing 73 fraudulent counts in the case exposed by him.

During an interview with The Canadian Press from Quebec City, Gauthier’s son said in the latest verdict, the appeals court stated that his father was not guilty of 11 charges. Still, his father had to remain under custody because his lawyer certainly failed to appeal the remaining 62 charges within the permitted time period.

Alexis blamed lawyer’s incompetency and suspected foul play in the case.

Alexis said, “We are extremely disappointed. We can’t say we are surprised because the irregularities have multiplied in this case since the beginning. We seem to have the proof now that someone is trying to keep him there.”

He also told that Andre Gauthier has spent more than $2 million for fighting the case since 2015, and the family is not willing to shed another penny for the “corrupt Dubai justice system.” He has now called for a meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne to seek help for his father’s release.

The family wants Champagne to exert political pressure on UAE authorities. “They need to talk because that’s the only way this will stop.”

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