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Bus driver facing jail in Dubai will not be deported

Garnet Black was sentenced to 12 months in prison after being convicted in absentia.

UAE: Scot worked in Dubai for four years (file pic).
UAE: Scot worked in Dubai for four years (file pic). CC by Abdulla Al Muhairi

A bus driver facing jail in the Middle East has been allowed to remain in Scotland on human rights grounds.

Garnet Black was sentenced to 12 months in prison after being convicted in absentia by a court in the United Arab Emirates.

It ruled he had stolen $345,000 (£261,000) from his former employer in Dubai.

Mr Black, of Lanarkshire, claims the charges were invented by daughter's former husband following the collapse of their marriage.

On Friday, sheriff Tom Welsh ruled it would breach Mr Black's human rights to send him back to the UAE.

He said Mr Black was not guaranteed a fair trial and there was a danger he would face torture in prison.

The 64-year-old lived there between 2006 and 2010 and worked for a freight distribution company at Dubai Airport.

Authorities claim that on the day he left the country, Mr Black embezzled $250,000 from the company's bank account and then flew to Hong Kong where he embezzled another $95,000.

Mr Black claims his son-in-law, whose brother is the chief prosecutor in Abu Dhabi, invented the allegations and electronically bugged his family.

The sheriff said: "The respondent said the allegation of embezzlement is totally false and the real reason he is wanted in the UAE is as a bargaining chip to secure the return of his granddaughter there."

The court heard Mr Black has been in poor health and suffered a heart attack in 2013.

Mr Walsh said he found Mr Black "credible and reliable", adding: "The reason for his departure was the alleged domestic violence suffered by his daughter at the hands of his former son-in-law.

"I believed the respondent when he explained at considerable length the steps he took to extract himself, his wife, daughter and granddaughter from Dubai.

"I believed his evidence that his former son-in-law has influence with the local police."

The sheriff concluded Mr Black would not have access to a fair trial if he was returned to the UAE, which would breach Article 6 of the Human Rights Act.

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