UK court orders gunrunner to pay over USD 4.1M to UAE emirate

Dubai, May 22 (AP) An Iranian-American aviation magnate and gunrunner tied to the CIA and the Iran-Contra scandal must pay a sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates over USD 4.1 million over a series of business disputes, a British court ruled Friday.

The ruling against Farhad Azima caps a yearslong legal dispute stretching across the world between the Kansas City, Missouri resident and the emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, one of UAE's seven sheikhdoms along with Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

The case renewed questions over whether Azima had what one prosecutor said was a stay-out-of-jail-free card because of secretive work he had performed for the U.S. government.

While ruling in the emirate's favor, the High Court's judgement also paints Ras al-Khaimah as the Wild West of frontier investing. The 127-page ruling describes the emirate's ruling family, alleging it was a victim of a $2 billion embezzlement and saying it pressured people through detention without charges and worried about internal power struggles. (AP) NSA