"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." - George Orwell

Friday, October 29, 2004

Closer to Justice 

Justice just got closer for James Cottle.

Long-time readers of this blog will remember that Mr Cottle was among eight westerners arrested by Saudi police in 2001. The allegation was that they were responsible for planting a series of bombs in Saudi Arabia. They were tortured into making forced confessions, all in the manner of the Soviet show trials of the 1930s. No one in the West believes that the charges are anything but trumped up. Mr Cottle and the others spent up to three years in prison before finally being released.

I posted a series of pieces on their unjust imprisonment and the general situation in Saudi Arabia; see here, here and here.

Last Friday the Manchester News reported some good news
A MAN who claims he was tortured in Saudi Arabia into confessing to bombings has received a major Appeal Court boost to his bid for damages.
A Court of Appeal ruling yesterday in the case of Ron Jones, who was jailed for similar crimes and later released by the Saudis, held that Mr Jones should be able to pursue the individual torturers.

Lawyers acting for Mr Cottle had been waiting for the result of Mr Jones' test case before seeing if their own court case could proceed.
"This is a landmark decision. The Court of Appeal has made some very significant inroads into the out-of-date and much-abused doctrine of state immunity. The decision means that governments which engage in torture will no longer be able to shelter behind the unqualified immunity they enjoyed previously."
Read the whole thing.
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