Oakenfold behind Grooverider’s rescue?
Mixmag have suggested Paul Oakenfold may have persuaded Dubai authorities to pardon Grooverider, a claim the superstar DJ appeared to implicitly confirm when quizzed by the British dance magazine. “I don’t think I was completely responsible but I did make a few phone calls,” Oakenfold admitted. “I phoned a friend of mine who is the nephew of one of the Queen’s in the United Arab Emirates. He said he’d see what he could do.”
Grooverider received remarkably similar treatment to the majority of non-celebrity foreign drug offenders locked up in Dubai many of whom are released early in regular mass royal pardons. Dubai newspaper Arab News reported earlier this year that 11 out 12 anonymous French citizens busted for drug use were pardoned less than 12 months into their 4 year sentences, the same rough period Grooverider ended up being locked up.
The notable exception to the rule remains US hip hop star Dallas Austin who was caught with cocaine at the airport in 2006 as he flew in to attend a party thrown by Naomi Campbell. Austin was pardoned on the very same day he was sentenced to four years following high level lobbying by US senators and pop icons Lionel Richie and Qiuncy Jones.