I was trafficked, say ex-Leeds MD David Haigh

File photo dated 17/02/2013 of Leeds United director David Haigh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 13, 2014. Leeds managing director David Haigh has insisted there is "no chance" of the club going into administration. See PA story SOCCER Leeds. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

File photo dated 17/02/2013 of Leeds United director David Haigh. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday March 13, 2014. Leeds managing director David Haigh has insisted there is "no chance" of the club going into administration. See PA story SOCCER Leeds. Photo credit should read: Martin Rickett/PA Wire

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Former Leeds United Managing Director David Haigh has claimed he was the victim of human trafficking when he was “lured” to Dubai prior to being arrested and held in prison.

Mr Haigh, the former deputy chief executive of Dubai-based bank GFH, which bought Leeds from Ken Bates in December 2012, has been held in custody in Dubai since May 18 when he was arrested on suspicion of fraud, embezzlement and money-laundering.

GFH has alleged that Mr Haigh defrauded it of £3 million by falsifying invoices and diverting money into accounts controlled by him.

Mr Haigh, who protests his innocence and says no criminal charges have yet been brought against him, has lodged a counter claim against GFHC, claiming he was lured to Dubai under false pretences and for unpaid salary and bonuses he says are owed to him.

It emerged last month that Mr Haigh had lodged an application for an arrest warrant to be issued for Hisham Al Rayes of Bahrain, Chief Executive Officer of GFH, and Jinesh Patel, chief executive of GFH Capital.

He has now instructed his legal team to bring a case against the two men, as well as Peter Gray, of law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher, alleging that they engaged in human trafficking to entice him to Dubai.

Gray was not named as a defendant on the original court application earlier this year, but his name has recently been added due to his alleged involvement in what Haigh calls a “conspiracy” to have him imprisoned, it is reported.

In response, Robert Dougans, GFH’s soliticitor, said: “This is a transparent attempt to garner publicity by exploiting another person’s problems. It does not change the position that there is no merit in this prosecution at all.”

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