UAE releases Hamas-affiliated businessman from prison

February 16, 2011 17:14

The United Arab Emirates on Wednesday released a Hamas-affiliated businessman who had been suspected of money-laundering and raising funds for the Islamist movement in the Gaza Strip.

The man, Abdel Aziz Khaldi, was released after 45 days in detention following the intervention of the Emir of Qatar, Shiekh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani.

Hamas has strongly denied the charges against the businessman.

Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh phoned the emir to thank him for his efforts.

Khaldi has been transferred to Qatar, where he is the guest of the emir, sources close to Hamas said. Prior to his detention in the UAE, the businessman visited Syria, where he is believed to have met with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal.

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