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An Australian grandfather trapped in Qatar after being jailed for bad checks has asked the Australian government to help him get him home, as academically did. Kylie Moore-Gilbert.

And although he has now been acquitted and released, ongoing legal proceedings, which his lawyers say are being initiated simply to keep him in the country, mean that he is prohibited from leaving.

Joe Sarlak moved from Albury to Qatar and ended up in jail for bad checks. (Supplied)
Australian scholar Kylie Moore-Gilbert was released from jail in Iran after a prisoner swap deal. (Supplied)

Sarlak said he was disappointed that nothing had been done to help him after Australia secured the release of Moore-Gilbert, who was in jail in Iran for more than two years.

Sarlak, who has two grandchildren he never knew, said the academic’s imprisonment, which he heard about while in jail, upset him.

Kylie Moore-Gilbert shortly after her release in Tehran. (AP)

“Every time I saw his photo, my tears ran down (my face), he told

“I knew what it was like and being a lady, much, much more difficult.

“I am disappointed (of Australia).

“I know there are people here from Nepal, Bangladesh, who are helping their people a lot more.

Sarlak moved to the Middle Eastern country to build aircraft hangars for the royal family airline.

Joe Sarlak with his new wife Azam.  and his daughter Layla in Doha, Qatar, before being jailed.
Joe Sarlak with his ex-wife and daughter Layla in Doha, Qatar, before being jailed. (Supplied)

It had built similar structures in Australia, including at Melbourne Airport, and said it won an international tender.

When he finished that job, he decided to stay because he liked the “peaceful” life.

But Sarlak, who previously lived in Albury, was jailed in 2016 on charges of bad checks, a crime in the country, related to his business.

His lawyers say they never tried him and forced him to sign a confession in Arabic.

Qatar Airlines has apologized after searching Australian women naked in Qatar. (Karleen Minney)

He blamed his former Qatari business partner for the bad checks and claimed that company money was embezzled.

After more than two years in jail, Sarlak was finally acquitted and released.

But more pending cases, which Sarlak’s lawyers say relate to the registration of a business in his name by someone else while he was in prison, means he cannot leave the country.

You cannot access the medical care you need for your heart condition and you risk arrest because you do not have identification.

Joe Sarlak with his daughter Layla and son Keyan, from Melbourne, in Doha, Qatar before being jailed.
Joe Sarlak with his daughter Layla and son Keyan, from Melbourne, in Doha before being jailed. (Supplied)

Last year, Amnesty International Australia asked ministers to intervene in the case of Mr Sarlak.

Sarlak is at least out of Doha’s horrible central prison, where his lawyers feared he might die.

He shared a cell with up to 18 people.

“(There were) 18 people in a room, two-story beds, broken mattresses, no clean sheets or blankets and smoking, it was horrible, since I have problems with my heart, I suffered a lot,” he said.

“The hygiene was horrible. For the sake of my children, my family, I have had to be strong.”

Australia's construction chief Joseph Sarlak, 68, has been jailed in Qatar.
Joe Sarlak, 70, has a heart condition and remains trapped in Qatar after being released from prison. (Supplied)
Authorities found an abandoned baby at Hamad International Airport in Doha and searched the passengers, including Australian passengers. (AP)

Sarlak warned Australians against the lure of working in the Middle East, calling it “a completely dangerous place.”

Attorney Radha Stirling, who also works for Missing Princess Latifa of Dubai – He called on Australia to finally intervene, saying the latest case against Sarlak was only brought to prevent him from returning home.

“The only thing worse than Qatar’s assault on an innocent grandfather is Australia’s insane unwillingness to oppose it.

“Getting this woman from Iran would have been a much more difficult task.

“Both Qatar and Australia could easily figure this out, but if they don’t I wouldn’t expect him to leave the country anytime soon.”

A spokesperson for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade told “The Australian government has been providing consular assistance to an Australian man in Qatar since his arrest in 2016. Due to our privacy obligations, we will not provide further comment.” .

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