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Last Updated: Sunday, 8 May, 2005, 11:05 GMT 12:05 UK
British woman cleared in Dubai
Tracy Wilkinson
Tracy Wilkinson tested positive for codeine in Dubai
A British woman who faced four years in a Dubai jail for having codeine in her system has been acquitted.

Tracy Wilkinson, 44, of Balcombe, West Sussex, tested positive for the drug, which is banned in Dubai but was legally prescribed by her UK GP.

The drug was found in a urine sample while she was in custody in the United Arab Emirates over a passport error.

A British Embassy spokeswoman in Dubai confirmed on Sunday that she has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Wonderful news

"We cannot go into specific details about the case, but we can confirm that Ms Wilkinson was found not guilty," she added.

Ms Wilkinson did not appear in court, but her lawyer attended the hearing.

Her ex-husband, Robin Wilkinson, was pleased with the outcome and said: "It's wonderful news. She's very pleased and very relieved but she won't be fully relieved until she's back on home soil.

"They (the authorities) now need, tomorrow, to go to the prosecutor's office to see whether there's any chance that they may waive the 15-day cooling-off period (during which time they have the opportunity to appeal).

"We're hoping that they will say they will waive that and she'll be able to get her passport back and be home as soon as possible."

Written evidence

Ms Wilkinson, a sports osteopath, was arrested in Dubai airport two months ago for an irregularity on her passport.

She spent eight weeks in prison despite claiming the drug had been prescribed, and was released on bail last week.

It is illegal to possess codeine in Dubai and, if she had been found guilty, she could have been jailed for four years.

According to the Fair Trials Abroad campaign group, Ms Wilkinson took the drugs before she flew into the state after they were prescribed by her GP in the UK.

He is alleged to have provided the authorities in Dubai with written evidence several weeks ago.

Spokesman Stephen Jakobi said that a court hearing on Saturday heard that official medical records revealed she was also administered the drugs by a police doctor at Dubai airport before she gave the urine sample.

British woman out of Dubai jail
30 Apr 05 |  Southern Counties
Tourist in UAE jail over medicine
25 Apr 05 |  Southern Counties

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