Former Leeds United managing director David Haigh’s bid to return to the UK from a Dubai prison cell has been delayed again after his latest court hearing was adjourned.
Mr Haigh had been due to fly home in November after serving 18 months of a two-year sentence for financial misappropriation.
A day before his release he was detained again after his former employer, investment bank Gulf Finance House (GFH), complained about remarks allegedly made on Twitter.
Mr Haigh was due to appear in court in Dubai today after a previous brief appearance in December, but the judge adjourned the hearing until January 21.
It is understood that a delay in the official transport taking him from jail meant the 38-year-old was not in court to hear the judge make his ruling.
A spokesman for Mr Haigh said: “This latest delay will mean that David will have spent a minimum of nine weeks in jail on a complaint of ‘Twitter abuse’. No formal charges have been brought against him in this context.”
Mr Haigh, who was a director at United for just over a year in 2013-14 after leading GFH Capital’s negotiations to acquire the club, was originally arrested in Dubai on May 18 last year.
He was initially detained without charge for 14 months and had his worldwide assets frozen before being convicted in August this year of misappropriating items of monetary value from a position of trust from his former Dubai-based employer.
He was sentenced to two years in prison – the majority of which he had already served – but is reportedly considering seeking a retrial of his criminal conviction.
GFH is said to have complained about the alleged Twitter slander shortly before Mr Haigh’s expected release last month.
The complaint is believed to relate to messages from his official account, which is currently being managed on his behalf.
Mr Haigh is not thought to have been charged with the offence, but has appeared in court where he denied wrongdoing.
He says he could not have committed the alleged Twitter offence, which dates back to March, because he was in custody at the time.