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Businessman returns home after Dubai detention

Updated: 2014-01-20 11:08
( Xinhua)

SYDNEY - Australian businessman Marcus Lee has arrived in Sydney after being detained in Dubai on fraud charges for almost five years, local media reported on Monday.

"It's just overwhelming to see so many people here," Lee told reporter after arriving at Sydney airport with his wife Julie on Monday morning.

"It's been what we've dreamed about for five years now, and look, even down to the last couple of days it's been quite traumatic."

Speaking at Sydney Airport on Monday morning, Lee thanked all those involved in securing his release.

"I'd just really like to say thanks to DFAT and particularly Pablo Kang, who is the ambassador to the UAE (United Arab Emirates) ," he said.

"They've been phenomenal, especially in the last 48 hours. Also obviously [for] all the Government's help, the Government representations that have happened over the time."

On Friday, Lee and his wife tried to board a flight home but were turned away by authorities.

The couple were finally allowed to leave Dubai on a flight the next day after Pablo Kang, Australian Ambassador to the UAE, intervened, local media reported.

Lee and his Australian colleague Matthew Joyce were arrested in January 2009 over fraud allegations brought by Gold Coast property development company Sunland.

Sunland accused the pair, as well as Australian developer Angus Reed and another man, of conspiring to rip the company off over a property deal.

Lee spent nine months in prison and the rest of the time in home detention.

"I wasn't just once acquitted in Dubai on appeal, I was acquitted three times from the outset," Lee said on Monday morning.

"It was very clear very early on I was clearly just doing my job and that was found in all judgments. Unfortunately, I have been caught up in the middle of a grubby dispute between a lot of self-interested property developers."

Lee said he and his wife Julie just wanted to get on with their lives now.

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