British grandfather who was threatened with flogging for breaking Saudi Arabia's strict anti-alcohol laws is to be released
Published 28/10/2015 | 15:39
A British grandfather who was threatened with flogging for breaking Saudi Arabia's strict anti-alcohol laws will be released within a week, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has said.
Karl Andree, 74, has served time in jail following his arrest in Jeddah in August last year after he was caught with home-made wine.
But during a visit to Saudi Arabia, Mr Hammond confirmed Mr Andree would be released and reunited with his family.
He said: "This is a good outcome and I'm grateful to minister Al-Jubeir and all other people who have been involved, especially His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, for ensuring that we now have a good outcome."
Mr Hammond said the case had caused "concern" in Britain but it was because of the "strength, depth and breadth" of the UK's relations with Saudi Arabia that they were able to "achieve effective results".
The Foreign Secretary is holding a series of talks with the country's ruler, King Salman, and other members of the royal family and officials during his visit to the Gulf state.
Mr Andree, who has battled cancer and suffers from asthma, was locked up as Saudi officials waited to carry out the lashings, according to his family.
More than 230,000 people signed an online petition calling for the Prime Minister to intervene to stop him facing the punishment.