Saudi Arabia Jails Briton for Eight Years And Orders 800 Lashes
An Islamic court in the Saudi kingdom has sentenced a Briton to eight years in prison and 800 lashes for producing and selling alcohol, sources close to the case told AFP on Tuesday.
56-year-old Gary Dixon, also known as O'Nions, was caught illegally entering the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after he fled alcohol charges in the Saudi kingdom, where alcohol is strictly banned.
He was extradited to the Saudi capital Riyadh a year ago after being imprisoned for six months for trying to bribe a Dubai airport immigration official to allow him to leave the country.
"He was in jail in Saudi (Arabia) and we understand he has been sentenced on charges related to the illegal production and sale of alcohol on an industrial scale," one source said.
"It is our understanding that he will appeal."
The trial took place behind closed doors as usual in Saudi Arabia and the exact date of the sentencing was not known.
The source added Dixon did not have legal representation.
Meanwhile, a British embassy official said the mission was not allowed to follow the court proceedings.
Prior to his extradition, Dixon admitted running an illicit drinking den in an interview with a Dubai newspaper.
However, he denied any involvement in a series of explosions which authorities have linked to a turf war between expatriate bootlegging gangs.
A Belgian, a Canadian and several other Western nationals are in jail in Saudi Arabia awaiting trial on alcohol charges.
Christopher Rodway, a Briton, was killed and his wife injured when their car blew up in Riyadh in November 2000. Less than a week later, two other Britons and an Irish woman were injured in another Riyadh blast.
Four Britons were convicted of alcohol trafficking in Saudi Arabia last June and sentenced to up to two-and-a-half years in jail and between 300 and 500 lashes each for trafficking in alcohol. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)