Dr Khater Massaad responds to yet more spurious attacks on him by Ras Al-Khaimah. Is Saud Al Qasimi’s regime nearing its end?

Dr Khater Massaad, the Swiss national and international businessman who heads up Star Industrial Holdings, was again libelled late yesterday in a statement by the Department of Public Prosecution of Ras Al-Khaimah (‘RAK’), the smallest emirate of the UAE.

Dr. Massaad strongly refutes the latest spurious and unsubstantiated allegations in yet another baseless attack on him. These are part of a series of vengeful and spiteful attack in response to his repeated request for proper remuneration for his efforts in building the economy of RAK and growing the wealth of the emirate’s ruling family; an attempt to extort money from Dr Massaad and an attempt to undermine his rapidly growing international ceramics business, which is threatening the market share of RAK Ceramics, once a key economic driver for the emirate.

A spokesman for Dr Massaad responded: “RAK suddenly claims it wants to root out offences against public funds by public officials. As it goes, Dr Massaad was however, never a ‘public’ official, even in the broadest sense of that word. He was a businessman who worked to create substantial wealth for the ruling family of RAK. They gave him full and legal power of attorney to act for them, were regularly informed of and monitored his activities and approved all his business projects, which resulted in overall economic benefit for the ruling family and the emirate.

“The allegations against Dr Massaad are entirely baseless and unsubstantiated by any real evidence. In fact they appear to be highly improperly motivated. This sorry episode began when Dr Massaad sought proper remuneration for that success and has since escalated.

“RAK’s response has been to besmirch Dr Massaad’s good name with criminal allegations and a secret and mysterious court hearing, that raises very real questions around the independence and legitimacy of the RAK judiciary. A properly functioning judicial system would understand that this is no more than a civil disagreement which should be resolved accordingly.

“The lack of basic independence and impartiality of the RAK judiciary is clear from the recent statement which has no clear rationale, demonstrating that once again it has been leaned on by the cronies of Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi to whip up yet another vexatious attack claiming criminal wrong doing.

“Furthermore, RAK’s judicial authorities have again demonstrated breath-taking hypocrisy about the need for justice. In his own ‘show trial’ Dr Massaad never had the allegations put to him, nor was he shown any documentation about the charges, nor did he receive a summons to appear, nor was he ever notified about the dates of the court hearing and he was therefore never able to defend himself.

“This in turn calls into question the very basis of the attack on Dr Massaad, which may well be motivated by RAK’s domestic political agenda and the mounting opposition faced by its isolated ruler. The contradictory stance of claiming justice but acting dishonestly is another prime example of RAK and Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi’s regime being little more than a sheriff running amok in the Wild West of the Middle East. This must all be very embarrassing to the good standing of the UAE as a whole.”

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