A BRITISH grandad who faced being thrown into a Dubai jail after being accused of trespass has been released.
Ian Mackellar, 75, was arrested while visiting his daughter and young grandchild over Christmas shortly after they had moved there.
SWNSIan Mackellar has been freed after being arrested in Dubai[/caption]
He is due to return to Scotland
Ian and his wife had flown to Dubai to visit their daughter, who had asked her neighbour to be mindful of noise at their New Year’s Eve party as she had to be up early for work.
But by 1am songs were still blaring out, so she text the host asking for the volume to be lowered.
The music then got louder, and Ian offered to go over and ask them to turn it down and took his 18-month-old granddaughter with him as she was awake.
As no one answered the door, Ian went down the open side path to the garden to ask guests if they could help.
But, according to Detained in Dubai, several party-goers started pushing him backwards and shouted at him.
Ian was told to leave, which he did, but he claims that the host then ran up to him “screaming” and “threw a drink over the baby”.
The grandfather allegedly told her he would report this to the police, but his daughter dissuaded him from doing so.
But the family was stunned when the neighbour filed a report of their own, accusing him of “trespass”.
He was then arrested and charged with trespass and told he could not leave Dubai.
A few weeks later, Ian was forced to go to Al Barsha police station where he was told he would meet with prosecutors.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, said: “He was put in front of a judge without his lawyer and essentially pushed to plead guilty to the charges against him.
“Ian did so and was then held in a locked room on his own, wondering whether he would be taken to prison.
“He was finally delivered the relieving news that he would be fined AED 3,000 (£350) and the travel ban would be removed.”
Ian has booked a flight back to Scotland.
Radha added: “We are pleased Ian is able to return home to Scotland.
“Ideally, the allegation’s triviality and unevidenced criminality would have been recognised at the first police interview and the case dismissed, rather than proceeding all the way to a judge.
“We certainly hope to see this in the future, as we do in places like Scotland.
“We are thankful for the UAE’s intervention in this case.”
Radha previously warned Ian could have ended up in a “prison notorious for human rights violations” if the case wasn’t dropped.
She said: “Again and again, we are reminded that a simple trip to Dubai can indeed be a one way ticket.”Leave a comment