Middle East Civil and Criminal Justice Specialists
Cat Le-Huy Charged with drug consumption but later Acquitted
Endemol’s Head of Technology, 31 year old Mr Cat Le-Huy, a well respected UK resident & German citizen has been detained at Dubai International Airport’s Deportation Centre.
Mr Le-Huy travels regularly for business & pleasure & arrived in Dubai expecting to enjoy a few days of warm weather and look into possible business opportunities. His travel plans were cut short when, on arrival he was pulled aside for a random search that revealed he was carrying a legal health supplement known as “melatonin”. Melatonin is a supplement that assists with jet lag symptoms & is available legally over the counter in the United Arab Emirates. Regardless, Mr Le-Huy was subjected to a full strip search, urine tests & was, under duress, forced to sign a confession in Arabic, a language he does not understand. He has been encouraged by both the German Embassy & the Dubai authorities not to obtain legal representation.
After his tests returned negative for traces of drugs, the authorities decided to run further tests on miniscule traces of what appear to be dirt, found in his luggage. The authorities hope that this dirt is found to be hashish. Friends and colleagues of Cat, know he does not use illegal drugs in any capacity & is a very health conscious individual.
Almost 2 weeks later, a detainment extension of a further 14 days has been approved without charge, without hearing & without evidence.
Cat Le-Huy is a well respected professional residing in Hampstead, London who has never been involved with any illegal drugs of any sort.
With no commitment of release based on negative test results & little to no embassy involvement, it is possible that this unnecessary procedure could keep an innocent man behind bars in sub optimal conditions for an indefinite period of time.
The judicial system for those detained at the airport moves very slowly and is highly disorganised, with many reports from fellow detainees of corruption. We hope that this well marketed tourist hot spot will show visitors that when someone is taken into custody without charge, they take it seriously & release innocent travelers promptly.
Following a press campaign and fund raising, we were able to raise $100,000 to support Cat’s legal fees. Following a meeting with the prosecution, the case against Mr Le-Huy was dropped entirely. He was released onto the streets of Dubai (literally onto the streets) without deportation. Cat recovered with a friend for a few days before returning to London. Funnily enough, they almost took him back into custody at the airport on his way out!
Virgin Atlantic at our request, offered to bump him up to 1st class for the flight home.
Cat was one of the lucky ones. He had the support of his company, Endemol, friends & family and a great lawyer. However, there are still many people being held in Dubai who are completely innocent and need help.
Click here to download Cat’s original press pack that was circulated while was still incarcerated. It contains the forensic timeline we composed for media usage.
It is a relief that Cat did not end up having to do 4 years for a crime he didn’t commit. He is working as a professional in London and I saw him just the other night. I would like to thank everyone involved for their efforts in obtaining Cat’s release.