Marcus & Julie's Story
Marcus & Julie Lee, with Dudley, in Dubai
Marcus and Julie, both Australian citizens, are accountants from SYDNEY who moved to Dubai UAE in 2006 when Marcus was offered and accepted a role at Nakheel, a property development company in Dubai.
In January 2009, Marcus was unexpectedly arrested following fraud allegations by an Australian based, publically listed, property Development Company over a land transaction. Marcus was later cleared after the allegations were proven as baseless and had been fabricated.
After 5 years of being held in Dubai, fighting for their freedom, Marcus and Julie finally arrived back in Sydney Australia on 20 January 2014, where they were greeted by their family, friends and supporters.
Marcus was employed by Nakheel, a property development company in Dubai, when the Australian public company, Sunland Group Limited (ASX:SDG), purchased a plot of land known as Plot D17 at Nakheel’s Dubai Waterfront project.
Marcus' arrest in January 2009, followed statements and allegations of fraud by Sunland Group Limited, and by one of Sunland's Senior Executives, David Brown, over his role in Sunland’s land purchase from Nakheel.
On Marcus’ arrest he was initially held in solitary for 2 months and then later transferred to 2 additional Dubai jails where he remained for a total of 9 months. For the first 6 months of this time Marcus was not even formally charged with anything.
Marcus was finally granted bail in October 2009 but was instead placed under house arrest, with his wife, Julie Lee, remaining by his side through this entire ordeal.
On 20 May 2013, after 50 court hearings and near to 5 years, Marcus was fully acquitted of all charges and allegations by a panel of judges in Dubai. Marcus’ acquittal also followed an Expert Committees review of the case, from His Highness’s Rulers Court, who had found no wrongdoing on Marcus’ part.
Despite the clear acquittal, and the passing of over 4 years, Marcus and Julie were still not free to return to Australia at that stage as an Appeal was lodged at the last moment by the Dubai Prosecutors against his acquittal.
After more hearings, finally, on 10 November 2013 the Dubai Court of Appeal dismissed the Prosecutor's Appeal. After the verdict, Marcus and his wife, Julie, said the outcome was all they could ever have hoped for. "This is the correct result and we thank the Dubai Appeal Court judges for their verdict". They further said, after near to 5 years of being held in Dubai: "Julie and I desperately want to be able to see our families again".
Following the final acquittal verdict, and after receiving all required passport and bail clearances, Marcus and Julie tried to leave Dubai on 17 January 2014 however their departure was refused by Dubai immigration. Marcus and Julie were finally allowed to depart Dubai two days later.
Marcus and Julie arrived back to Australia at Sydney International Airport on 20 January 2014, where they were greeted by their family, friends, and supporters and where they were swamped by a huge contingent of interested media.
Please see the new tab to the left of the page link [Marcus & Julies return] for links to their press conference and related videos, reports and news articles.
But .... their story is not yet over ..... Gold Coaster Marcus Lee who spent five years in a Dubai jail has made a claim for $10m against developer Sunland [Jenny Rogers, Gold Coast Bulletin, 3 February 2015].
MARCUS, JULIE AND DUDLEY ARE NOW FREE
Clicking on the photo will take you to Rick Feneley's article in the Sydney Morning Herald on Marcus & Julie's arrival home.