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Friday, 11 January, 2002, 15:29 GMT
Fair trial fears for 'Taleban Briton'
Tora Bora mountain range
The arrest is believed to have been near Tora Bora
A British man being held in Pakistan on suspicion of having links with the Taleban and al-Qaeda terror network may not receive a fair trial, human rights campaigners have warned.

James McLintock, from Dundee, is believed to have been arrested on Christmas Eve at a checkpoint south of the Taleban's Tora Bora mountain range hideout in Afghanistan, close to the Pakistan border.

Pakistani prosecutors are said to be close to charging the 37-year-old with breaching laws prohibiting travel in sensitive areas.


If he has been somewhere he should not have been then he must pay the penalty

Fair Trials Abroad spokesman, Stephen Jakobi

But Fair Trials Abroad spokesman Stephen Jakobi said there were serious concerns over the Pakistani justice system.

"Unfortunately, Pakistan is one of those countries where you do not get a fair trial," he said.

"The lower echelons of the judiciary are oiled by police corruption."

Good health

Pakistani intelligence services are interrogating Mr McLintock at a Rawalpindi military complex, 14 miles from the capital Islamabad, according to the British Foreign Office.

The Scot, whose wife, Shaffia Begum, is Afghan, could face three years in jail.

Fair Trials Abroad will only consider taking up his case if there is a breach of international law.

Foreign Office
The Foreign Office has contacted Mr McLintock's father

"If he has been somewhere he should not have been then he must pay the penalty," Mr Jakobi said.

British officials in Islamabad have contacted Mr McLintock, who was educated at Dundee's Roman Catholic Lawside Academy, and said he is in good health.

The Foreign Office has also contacted Mr McLintock's father, Dr Iain McLintock - a former Labour councillor and Dundee University lecturer - and his mother, Margaret.

FBI agents are reportedly investigating if the charity he worked for in Afghanistan, Khuddam-ul-Quran, is linked to al-Qaeda.

Friends have denied Mr McLintock, who converted to Islam during the 1980s and changed his name to Yaqub Mohammed, fought with the Mujahideen in the Afghan-Soviet war.

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