Atlanta, USA (CNN) – The US State Department has confirmed that it has “no indications” that the arrest in the United Arab Emirates of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s former lawyer, Assem Ghafour, last week is related to the Khashoggi case, the State Department spokesman said. Ned Price said during a news conference on Monday.
Ghafoor is a US citizen who was arrested at Dubai International Airport last week by the United Arab Emirates security services.
“So far we have not seen any indication that his detention is related to Jamal Khashoggi, but we are still collecting information, again, as I said earlier. We have discussed the matter at a high level and we are doing everything possible.” to ensure that Mr. Ghafoor is treated fairly and humanely,” Price said. ‘, as he put it.
US consular officers at the Washington embassy in Abu Dhabi visited Ghafour on July 15 and 17 of the same month, according to Paris, and embassy officials attended their “virtual hearing” today, according to the US State Department spokesman.
“We have revealed our aspirations to our Emirati partners that Ghafoor receive consular services on an ongoing basis, have a fair and transparent judicial process, and be treated humanely,” he said.
Ghafoor was sentenced to 3 years in prison by an Emirati court, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported on Saturday.
The Abu Dhabi Money Laundering Court convicted Ghafour of committing two crimes of tax evasion and money laundering related to a tax evasion operation in his country and sentenced him to 3 years in prison, a fine of 3 million dirhams ($816,748) and expulsion from the country. state, according to Wam.