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Wednesday, 10 April, 2002, 18:16 GMT 19:16 UK
Briton sentenced to 800 lashes
Riyadh
O'Nions was extradited to Riyadh in March of last year
A British man has been sentenced to eight years in prison and 800 lashes in Saudi Arabia, for making and selling alcohol.

In addition Gary O'Nions, who is also known as Gary Dixon, was ordered to pay a fine of 400,000.

The 56-year-old was extradited from the United Arab Emirates in March 2001 in connection with an investigation into a series of bombings.

He denied any involvement in the campaign, which killed one Briton and injured a number of other foreigners, and has not been charged in connection with it.

Appeal

A spokesman for the British Embassy said O'Nions was sentenced last week, in a trial which took place behind closed doors.

The Foreign Office said it did not know the hearing was taking place until officials visited him the day after he was found guilty.

It said O'Nions has not yet been lashed and plans to appeal against the conviction.

The spokesman added: "We've been checking on his welfare and he's had no complaints. He has been receiving consular visits."

Televised confessions

O'Nions was charged with trading alcohol, which is banned in Saudi Arabia, in June.

Saudi Arabia is preparing to try five Britons detained in connection with the bombing campaign.

Alexander Mitchell, James Cottle, Les Walker and James Lee and a fifth unnamed Briton are to stand trial for bombings that occurred in the capital Riyadh in the last two years.

See also:

28 Feb 02 | Middle East
Britons 'to be tried' for Saudi bombings
13 Aug 01 | Middle East
Britons confess to Saudi bombings
05 Feb 01 | Middle East
Saudi bomb suspects may face execution
08 Feb 01 | Middle East
Getting a drink in Saudi Arabia
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