A British great-grandfather with dementia is locked in a Dubai jail and ‘just skin and bones on death’s door’, his family says.
He was arrested for bounced cheques in his name, but he denies writing them.
72-year-old William Meyerhoff worked in Dubai ten years ago but was seized in May this year when he was passing through the city on a stop-off flight to Australia.
The Grimsby man has been ordered to pay £20,000 or rot in jail for five years.
Dubai authorities confronted him with 38 charges relating to the dodgy cheques made when he was working for an Indian firm there.
His cellmate, Brit Albert Douglas, described the conditions as “filthy” and added that William is “skin and bones, and confused”.
The pensioner’s son Matthew, 44, claimed that his dad was being used as a “scapegoat” by the firm he used to work for, alleging that they are responsible for the cheques.
He added: “His treatment has been horrific. They can see he is extremely frail. It is like they are trying to kill him.
“He is largely deaf and can not understand most of what is said to him, he finds it very hard to communicate.
“Now, he’s been convicted in absentia and sentenced to essentially a life in prison.”
Matthew hasn’t been allowed to speak to his father who has been offered no help by Dubai police, the prison, or the hospital that has cared for him.
“They are depriving him of his final journey with us,” Matthew continued.
“We would do anything to see him again and we beg Sheikh Mohammed to have some compassion for our father.
“If my father is not released on humanitarian grounds, we know we will not see him again and this is too much for us to handle and too much for his grandchildren.
“We can not bear the thought of him dying all alone in a foreign prison.”
Detained in Dubai are a group of justice specialists who aim to help foreign nationals detained unjustly in the United Arab Emirates.
The group’s CEO, Radha Stirling, said simply: “This is how dangerous Dubai is to foreigners.”
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