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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 08:56 GMT 09:56 UK
'Ticket tout' Briton's treatment defended
Ticket was for the Ireland - Cameroon game
British embassy officials in Japan have defended the treatment of a Briton being held on suspicion of touting World Cup tickets.

John Jones, 43, was arrested in Niigata two weeks ago for allegedly trying to sell a friend's unwanted 68 ticket for the Ireland-Cameroon game for 110.

His lawyer said he had been held for an unusually long time, locked in a small room without exercise and repeatedly interrogated, despite suffering ill-health.

But a British embassy spokeswoman said: "What is happening to him is entirely in line with normal Japanese procedures."

He said it was not unusual for suspects to be held for two weeks in Japan.

Travel advice

"The vice-consul has visited him twice and we are quite satisfied that the conditions he is being held under are what would be expected in Japan," he said.

Five other Britons are also being held in Japan after being arrested during the World Cup - three for alleged handling of counterfeit currency, one for allegedly trying to gain entry to a ground without proper authorisation and one for alleged attempted shoplifting.

The embassy spokesman said they had made it clear in their travel advice that they are unable to intervene in the legal process in Japan or any other country.

The case is being reviewed on Saturday when it is hoped Mr Jones will learn whether he is to be released or charged.

In theory he could be held for another five days after that with no decision, although that is thought unlikely.


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