Page last updated at 18:22 GMT, Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Two men freed from Hungarian jail return to UK

Michael Turner (left) and Jason McGoldrick
Michael Turner (left) and Jason McGoldrick were accused of fraud

Two British men freed from a Hungarian jail after being accused of fraud when their Budapest-based marketing firm failed have returned to the UK.

Michael Turner and his business partner Jason McGoldrick were held without charge by the Hungarian authorities.

The authorities claimed Mr Turner, 27, from Dorset, and Mr McGoldrick, 37, from Devon, owed creditors £18,000 when their company collapsed in 2005.

They arrive at Gatwick on Tuesday afternoon.

The men, who flew to Hungary on 2 November last year after being extradited, were released from prison on Friday after 17 weeks.

They were not told why they were released and no official reason has since been given.

However William Dartmouth, UKIP MEP for the West Country, said a high profile campaign by Mark Turner and extensive media coverage of the case had undoubtedly put pressure on Hungarian authorities.

Mr Dartmouth has called for "an immediate suspension of the European arrest warrants", which Hungarian prosecutors used to detain the men alleging the company's creditors were the victims of fraud.

Renewing passports

Mr Turner and Mr McGoldrick, from Plymouth, ran a time-share marketing business.

Speaking after being released, Mr Turner, from Corfe, told BBC Radio Solent he planned to continue "to work on the case" to clear his name.

His father Mark Turner, who runs the Castle Inn public house at Corfe Castle, said: "I am absolutely delighted he is coming back - goulash soup is back on the menu in the pub.

Michael Turner's supporters outside the House of Commons
Mark Turner organised demonstrations as part of his campaign to free his son

"But, seriously, there are some misgivings about the case that need to be addressed.

"I am still very angry and I am concerned other [British] citizens could experience the same fate."

He added that his son and Mr McGoldrick had spent Monday retrieving their passports from the Hungarian authorities before visiting the British Consulate in order to get them renewed.

The pub landlord said he was planning a party, but his son would first be spending a few days with his girlfriend.

The men were also kept locked up for 23 hours a day in "appalling conditions".

Mr Turner's family ran a campaign to highlight their case, set up a website called Free Mike and Jason and accused the UK Government of "letting the men down".

The campaign also received support from South Dorset Labour MP Jim Knight.

Family and supporters held demonstrations outside the House of Commons and the Hungarian embassy in protest at the handling of the case.



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SEE ALSO
Freed Briton vows to clear name
27 Feb 10 |  England
Vigil for extradited men is held
30 Dec 09 |  Dorset
Embassy demo over extradited men
23 Nov 09 |  Dorset
Extradited men in 'unclean' jail
13 Nov 09 |  Dorset
Dorset man imprisoned in Hungary
13 Nov 09 |  England

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FROM OTHER NEWS SITES
Telegraph British men released from Hungarian jail condemn European arrest laws - 27 Feb 2010


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