Human Rights activist guilty of embezzlement in Stavanger
It may be appropriate to demand that the sentence of four years and a half years imprisonment be voided because it is so incomplete, according to self-proclaimed Human Rights leader Loai Deeb.
The Norwegian-Palestinian Deeb has been sentenced to four and a half years in prison for embezzling NOK 11 million from the human rights organization Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) by the Stavanger District Court. He was also charged with trafficking and for document fraud. The verdict is in line with the prosecutor’s claim.
– He is convicted on all counts and is very disappointed. The case will be appealed, says Deeb’s defence lawyer, Kjell Brygfjeld, to NTB.
– I am surprised at the lack of evidence in the case. The defendant’s witnesses and evidence provided has not been taken into account at all in the assessment, he continues.
Inadequate evidence assessment
Brygfjeld has not gone through the verdict thoroughly enough to elaborate on what basis he will appeal but confirms to NTB that what he believes is insufficient evidence assessment can provide a basis for an appeal based on that. In that case, it will mean that the verdict will be voided and the case will be sent back to the District Court for renewed treatment if the result of the appeal is in accordance with Deeb’s claim.
Brygfjeld shows, among other things, that he submitted confirmation from the issuer that the documents are factual, which Deeb is found guilty of forging.
Awarded millions in grants
The second option is an ordinary appeal on guilt, where the Court of Appeal reviews all the evidence in the case before it decides on guilt and possible repercussions.
– The judgment appears to us as unilateral in the evidence assessment at this point in time, Brygfjeld maintains.
43 years old Deeb founded and, for several years, led the human rights organisation from its headquarters in Hillevåg, Stavanger. In the years after its foundation in 2008, the organisation received several large donations from undisclosed donors in the Middle East.
Facts about GNRD (Wikipedia)
Global Network for Rights and Development (commonly known as GNRD) was a Norwegian non-governmental human rights organisation established in June 2008.
It was bankruptcy declared in 2016.
2014 arrests in Qatar and claim of links to UAE Government.
In August 2014, two British men of Nepalese origin were arrested in Qatar after travelling there on behalf of GNRD to investigate the living and working conditions of Nepalese migrant workers.
The men, Krishna Upadhyaya, a researcher, and Gundev Ghimire, a photographer, were detained without charge for nine days and had to wait a further 11 days for permission to leave Qatar.
On May 27, 2015, Norwegian police raided the headquarters of GNRD in Stavanger, Norway. The same day Loai Deeb was arrested and held for interrogation for 48 hours.
Following this, Økokrim (The Economic Crime Unit), charged both GNRD and Deeb with money laundering and receiving stolen goods. The vice president of GNRD, Abozer Elmana Elligai, denied the charges.
Following the police raid, GNRD and Deeb said they would sue the Norwegian state for financial compensation.
The GNRD headquarters were located in Stavanger, Norway – at the Kvalaberg Road in the Hillevåg district. More than 20 employees worked in Stavanger – mostly people of foreign origin.
GNRD had offices in Amman, Jordan; Brussels, Belgium; Dubai, UAE; Geneva, Switzerland and Valencia, Spain.
The board of directors consisted of Hassan Mousa, Ali Ahmad Abdalla Alananzeh, Shawqi Abdelmajid Issa, Tamam Khalil M J Abushammala, Magdy Elsayed Aly Salim Kaoud, vice chairman was Abozer Elmana Mohamed Elligai and the chairman was Loai Deeb.
In 2014 the decrepit website levant.tv claimed that GNRD’s Goodwill Ambassador is Carole Samaha.
GNRD is “funded – to the tune of 3.5 million euros a year”.
In 2014 Brian Whitaker said that “GNRD says most of its funding comes from donations, and its website includes the logos of five “sponsors” who presumably provide at least some of this money. The first of these sponsors is an Emirates-based business called Deeb Consulting and the company’s website says its sole proprietor is Loai Mohammed Deeb.
It is difficult to identify the four other sponsors since no details are given – only the logos. The logos say “Advance Security Technology”, “Kaoud Law”, “My Dream” (with the words translated into Russian beneath) and “Action Design”. Attempts to trace these companies through a Google search have so far drawn a blank. But as many knows, only 34% of UAE companies have a website.
Read more on Wikipedia
© NTB scanpix / #Norway Today