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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 May, 2003, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Widow opposes freedom for Saudi six
Riyadh
Saudi Arabia has tough alcohol laws

The widow of a Briton killed in Saudi Arabia is opposing calls for the release from jail of six Britons who admitted plotting a bombing campaign in which he died.

Sandy Mitchell, from Kirkintilloch, Glasgow, and William Sampson, a British citizen born in Glasgow, face public beheading after being convicted of planting a bomb under Christopher Rodway's car in November 2000.

James Cottle, from Manchester, Peter Brandon, from Wales, Les Walker from the Wirral and James Lee - are serving 12 year sentences for plotting the bombings, which also injured other foreigners, in an alleged feud over illicit alcohol trading among expatriates.

Mr Rodway's widow, Jane, said: "I really do not know if these men are innocent or guilty - but I have to blame somebody."

To be in an Arab prison is worse than being in hell
Mr Rodway's family member

Campaigners for some of the six have argued their convictions were based on televised confessions, extracted under duress, and despite evidence Islamic extremists opposed to Riyadh's close relationship with America and Britain could be responsible for the bombings.

Mrs Rodway admits her husband, who worked as a controls engineer in the IT section of the Riyadh armed forces hospital, had not known the six or been involved in the illegal alcohol trade.

Last week another member of Mr Rodway's family, speaking anonymously, said all six should be immediately freed.

In a statement they said: "I keep thinking and thinking about it and really I don't know what's going on - but those chaps shouldn't be in prison."

I feel for those families with men in prison - but I lost my husband
Jane Rodway

But Mrs Rodway said she felt bitter about the statement and added: "I want justice".

She said: "I feel for those families with men in prison - but I lost my husband.

William Sampson, on Saudi television
Confessions were on television

"My real fear is these men will come home with an amnesty, with Saudi Arabia saying they are guilty, but letting them go.

"Then I shall feel very, very bitter because I do not think anything will be done about finding the killers of my husband."

Mrs Rodway opposes a retrial in Britain "because the crime was committed in Saudi Arabia".

She said: "The only evidence they have got is over there.

"When people go to Saudi they know the consequences if they commit a crime.

"If you deal in alcohol you know you're going to get lashed or put in prison."

Sandy Mitchell
Sandy Mitchell faces beheading

"There has been no investigation in this country."

Mrs Rodway said she was left with nothing after her husband's death.

She said she received no compensation, was rarely briefed about the case by the Foreign Office and had no house.

The 53-year-old matron lives at a public school in Reading.

"I have been told I don't stand a chance of getting anything because it happened abroad," she said.

The couple's son, Daryl, is about to take A-levels in media studies and physical education, "is very worried about our future and what's going to happen to us", said Mrs Rodway.




SEE ALSO:
Briton sentenced to 800 lashes
10 Apr 02  |  Middle East
Britons 'to be tried' for Saudi bombings
28 Feb 02  |  Middle East
Britons confess to Saudi bombings
13 Aug 01  |  Middle East
Saudi bomb suspects may face execution
05 Feb 01  |  Middle East
Getting a drink in Saudi Arabia
08 Feb 01  |  Middle East


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