HeadLine: Freedom battle for Saudi jail hell Scot
The Mirror, 05/01/2001, p27
by SHAUN MILNE
A SCOTS firefighter being held in a Saudi jail over an alleged booze
bootlegging racket is at the centre of top level talks between
officials arguing for his freedom.
David Mornin, 49, from Greenock, Renfrewshire, and four other Brits,
including his father-in-law Kelvin Hawkins, have been behind bars for a
Now the head of Britain’s Diplomatic Service is to raise their case
with Saudi leaders.
If he fails to win their release, the jailed Brits face the pain and
humiliation of a severe public flogging.
Sir John Kerr, Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office, is to
visit the Saudi capital, Riyadh, within the next few days.
The plight of the Britons tops his agenda for talks with senior Saudi
officials, according to Foreign Office minister John Battle.
Reports in the Saudi press have linked the arrests of the men with
three bombings in November and December in which a Briton died and four
others were injured.
It was suggested that Saudi police believe the attacks were part of a
turf war between rival gangs of bootleggers.
But yesterday Mr Battle said: “Whether or not there is a link with the
bombings remains to be seen.
“There has been only one arrest confirmed by the Saudis, a US national,
in direct connection with these bombings.
“It is for them to comment on the bombing investigations.
“Sir John Kerr will certainly be raising the cases of these men when he
meets senior officials.”
Alcohol is banned in Saudi Arabia which follows a strict Islamic legal
The punishment for smuggling booze into the country is a flogging of 80
The other men being held have been named as Ron Yates from Bolton, Paul
Moss from Merseyside and British-born Ken Hartley.
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