Dubai authorities refusing to provide evidence for inquest into death of Dagenham man on holiday

Lee Brown died while on holiday in Dubai. Pic: Brown family

Lee Brown died while on holiday in Dubai. Pic: Brown family - Credit: Archant

The family of a Dagenham man who died in a Dubai jail cell may have to write to the city’s ruler in their quest to solve the mystery surrounding his death.

Lee Bradley Brown was staying at the Burj Al Arab luxury hotel when he was arrested by Dubai police and charged with intimidating behaviour.

He died in a prison cell six days afterwards on April 12, 2011.

At a pre-inquest review held at Walthamstow Coroners Court today chief coroner, Nadia Persaud, criticised the Dubai authorities for refusing to submit valuable CCTV evidence from the Dubai hotel, prison and police station.

She cast doubt on evidence from Dubai authorities saying that witness statements including one from its chief prosecutor and medical reports sent by the country would not be used as evidence because none were signed or dated.

Ms Persaud said: “I’m not going to admit the evidence we have in the form we have it.

“If [the Dubai authorities] want to provide credible evidence, if they want the inquest to be full, they need to provide signed statements and contemporaneous records from the police, prison and paramedics.

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“We don’t have any of the actual evidence and we need that to have trust and confidence in the evidence we present to the jury.”

Barrister John Lofthouse, representing Mr Brown’s family, added that the Dubai authorities hadn’t even responded to an invitation to provide witnesses.

It also emerged that the law firm Imran Khan and Partners has submitted a freedom of information request to the British government in a bid to find out whether some details weren’t being shared because it could harm relations between the UK and Dubai.

On January 23 Ms Persaud and the family met with Foreign and Commonwealth officials to try and get the evidence from Dubai.

Ms Persaud said: “All reasonable efforts have been exhausted by the court.”

She added that one way forward would be for the family to write a personal letter to Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum translated by the court asking him to intervene.

The court also wants to trace two British witnesses who were at the prison where Mr Brown died.

A previous inquest verdict was quashed at the High Court in 2015.

An inquest into Mr Brown’s death is scheduled to start on July 11.