TV executive faces jail in Dubai for barely visible cannabis speck

A London-based television executive is facing four years in jail after an amount of cannabis weighing less than a grain of sugar was found in his bag at Dubai airport.

Cat Le-Huy, 31, a German national and head of technology at the television production company Endemol, has been held for three weeks without charge after flying to the United Arab Emirates on 26 January.

Friends and family have been told he can expect to face the minimum jail sentence for drug possession in the tiny Arab emirate. Mr Le-Huy had been on a two-day visit to look into investing in the region. On Tuesday, the Radio 1 DJ Grooverider, whose real name is Raymond Bingham, was jailed in Dubai for four years for possession of 2.16g of cannabis with a street value of about £10.

The Foreign Office says nine British nationals have been detained in Dubai over drugs offences this year, including Keith Brown, from the West Midlands, who was also jailed this month for four years after a speck of cannabis was found stuck to the bottom of a shoe.

Mr Le-Huy, of Belsize Park, north London, said he was first reprimanded for possession of jet-lag pills. When these were shown to be melatonin, which can be bought over the counter in Dubai and in the US, and in herbal stores in Britain, he was asked to provide a urine sample. He said when this also proved negative, his bag was searched. Airport officials found 0.03 grams of hashish, an amount not visible to the naked eye.

Mr Le-Huy is being held in Al-Wathba prison, 40 miles north of Dubai, in a desert. Friends say he has befriended DJ Grooverider, with whom he shares Australian friends, and is also close to several other English-speaking inmates.

A fighting fund has been set up to pay Mr Le-Huy's mounting legal fees, and has already raised £25,000. Mr Le-Huy, who came to Britain 10 years ago, worked at Endemol for two years, including on the reality TV show Big Brother.

Radha Sterling, a close friend of Mr Le-Huy who is co-ordinating the fund, said: "Cat absolutely hates marijuana. He never goes anywhere near it, partly because he's asthmatic and partly because he's very conscious about his health.

"He's a man of integrity, intelligent, respected, and law-abiding. We have asked for independent testing of the dirt in his bag and to know what equipment they are using but they have refused to help us."

Customs authorities have successfully applied to hold Mr Le-Huy in Dubai until at least the end of March. A 5,000-signature appeal has been sent to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, ruler of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London