Obama's Middle East envoy has al Maktoum links
George Mitchell, President Barack Obama’s special Middle East troubleshooter, was chairman of a law firm that was paid about $8 million representing Dubai’s ruler in connection with a child-trafficking lawsuit.
The DLA Piper law firm did legal and lobbying work on the case, which alleged that Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and another official used children kidnapped from other countries to ride as jockeys in camel races.
The camel-jockey suit was thrown out after the U.S. Justice Department notified a Miami federal judge that it planned to intervene and argue that al-Maktoum was immune from the suit as a foreign leader.
A February 2005 report on the U.S. State Department Web site says that in the United Arab Emirates, which includes Dubai, “trafficking of young, noncitizen boys employed as camel jockeys continued to be a serious problem, although the Government has pledged to eliminate this practice for boys under the age of 15.”
Mitchell was quoted by the state-owned Emirates News Agency in January 2007 as praising the United Arab Emirates and Dubai for a “remarkable partnership with UNICEF to locate, care for and repatriate underage camel jockeys. This program has been justly praised by the international community as a model solution to a serious problem.”
Labels: camel jockeys