Two Britons Jailed in UAE Win Christmas-Ramadan Pardon
Two Britons jailed in the Emirates on drugs charges have been included in a pardon to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and will be home in time for Boxing Day, a newspaper reported Monday.
Gulf News said 237 prisoners were being freed in Abu Dhabi including British social worker Ian Bamling and his travelling companion Lynn Majakas, under an order from Emirati President Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan.
"Now we will celebrate Christmas with my son one day late. It will be the greatest celebration of our lives, as God has given us the best Christmas gift," Bamling's mother, Sally Durham, told the paper from Yorkshire in northern England.
Bamling, 29, and Majakas, 44, who maintained their innocence throughout, were serving a four-year jail sentence for possession of drugs following their arrest at Abu Dhabi airport in October 1998.
They insisted the three grams (0.1 ounce) of cannabis found in their luggage did not belong to them but to a British friend who lent them the hold-all.
Six other British nationals were rounded up elsewhere in the United Arab Emirates last month on suspicion of drugs trafficking, an offence that can carry the death penalty -- ABU DHABI (AFP)
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