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

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Saudi Arabia Torture update 

From the Guardian;

Lawyers win right to seize Saudi assets

Mark Honigsbaum and Paul Kelso
Tuesday May 17, 2005
The Guardian

The court of appeal yesterday granted lawyers acting for three men who were tortured and detained in Saudi jails for more than two years permission to seize the kingdom's assets in this country, including Saudi commercial airliners.

The ruling follows a decision by the court of appeal last October giving the men the right to sue Saudi officials responsible for their torture in the British courts.

In October, the Saudi government decided it would not contest an order to pay the men's costs, yet has failed to do so. It has promised to take the case to the House of Lords.

Bindman and partners, lawyers for William Sampson, Sandy Mitchell and Les Walker, will now apply to the high court sheriff to seize sufficient commercial property to meet the costs, believed to be more than £100,000.

Bindman and partners have made clear they will send the sheriff in to seize Saudi property as soon as possible. They are not entitled to enter the Saudi embassy, as it is covered by diplomatic immunity and regarded as foreign territory.

However, any commercial property owned by the Saudi state in Britain is regarded fair game. That includes Saudi Arabian airlines, as well as houses and cars used for commercial purposes by Saudi officials or employees.

The Saudi embassy could not be reached for comment yesterday, but lawyers for the kingdom indicated in court that they would seek to overturn the order to pay costs by asserting immunity, setting the stage for further legal arguments.

I'll bet they didn't want to comment.

The article in the Guardian was sent to me by Mary Martini, ex-wife of one of James Cottle, one of the Britons who was unjustly imprisoned and tortured, and Ron Jones, who himself was unjustly imprisoned and tortured.

Kat over at the Middle Ground has been following this story also. Check out her blog posts here and here for additional details.

Let's keep up the pressure, folks.

For a timeline see the BBC story here.

My earlier posts:

A horror story of Saudi Arabia
Keep Quiet? Never! |
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