Producer Dallas Austin, who has crafted hits for TLC, Michael Jackson and Madonna, has been jailed in the Middle Eastern country of Dubai since May 19 on charges of "possessing and taking drugs," acco
Producer Dallas Austin, who has crafted hits for TLC, Michael Jackson and Madonna, has been jailed in the Middle Eastern country of Dubai since May 19 on charges of "possessing and taking drugs," according to published reports.
The Atlanta-based Austin is said to have traveled to Dubai, part of the United Arab Emirates, for model Naomi Campbell's birthday party, although his lawyer, Qays Hatem al-Zubi, was quoted by the English language Gulf News as saying the producer was "visiting Dubai for tourism and to attend some music concerts."
Dubai is an Islamic country and its citizens are forbidden from drinking alcohol, in accordance with the Koran. However, the country caters to Western tourists and businessmen with lavish hotels where alcohol is permitted.
Dubai also has strict laws governing illegal drug possession and use. "If suspected of being under the influence of drugs, individuals may be required to submit to blood and/or urine tests," reads an advisory on the United States consulate's Dubai Web site. "U.A.E authorities have been known to arrest travelers upon their arrival into the U.A.E and, based on recent prior drug use, to prosecute these travelers."
Reports have alternately suggested that if convicted, Austin could face between one and 15 years in jail. He is scheduled to enter a plea during a hearing on Sunday (July 2). A spokesperson for the producer could not be reached for comment at deadline.