Quebec geologist back home after being detained in Dubai
Canadian Andre Gauthier is shown in a handout photo. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Detained in Dubai)
MONTREAL -- A Quebec man who was detained in Dubai is finally free and back home in Canada after a years-long battle over fraud charges.
Lawyer Radha Stirling confirmed her client, Andre Gauthier, arrived in Toronto on May 4 where he quarantined for three days before going home to Quebec, making it just in time for his wife’s birthday.
Gauthier, a geologist, was jailed in Dubai after allegedly uncovering fraud in a gold company and had been detained on and off in the Middle East since 2015. His family said he was a whistleblower who alerted authorities in the United Arab Emirates to irregular dealings in a gold-trading company, Gold AE.
Although all charges were eventually dropped last summer, he was held to answer to civil charges stemming from the same case.
After mounting pressure for his release, including a letter from his son Alexis to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Stirling’s organization, Detained in Duabai, helped secure his release.
"It was absolutely outrageous, and we are grateful for the Canadian government’s responsiveness to our calls for intervention and for welcoming our input," she wrote in a press release.
"While it was frustrating for everyone involved that the resolution took so long, the UAE finally acknowledged André’s innocence, and ultimately that is all that matters."