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Last Updated: Wednesday, 30 July, 2003, 11:49 GMT 12:49 UK
Saudi damages case blocked
Ron Jones
Mr Jones has vowed to take his case to the Court of Appeal
A Briton who says he was tortured into confessing to a terrorist bombing in Riyadh has been told he cannot sue the Saudi government for more than 2m.

A senior High Court official in London blocked accountant Ron Jones's claim on the ground of "state immunity".

Master Whitaker, dealing with the case for the Queen's Bench Division, granted an application made by the Saudi Government to have the action "struck out".

Mr Jones, originally from Hamilton, Lanarkshire and now living in Crawley, West Sussex, was kept in a Saudi detention centre for 67 days in 2001.

Forced to confess

The Briton, who was present in court with his wife Sandra, has vowed to continue his fight for 2.1m compensation.

He hopes to take the case on to the Court of Appeal.

He has told of being forced to confess to the bombing and claims he was subjected to various forms of torture.

His High Court writ, which cites the Saudi interior ministry and a ministry official, claims false imprisonment, torture and violations of his human rights.

Hands and feet caned

Mr Jones was injured when a bomb planted in a dustbin exploded outside a bookshop in the Saudi capital.

He told afterwards how he was seized from his hospital bed, taken to a detention centre and tortured into confessing.

Following his release, Mr Jones said his hands and feet were caned and that he had been subjected to sleep deprivation, beatings and psychological duress.

He says he continues to suffer both psychologically and physically and is no longer able to work.

Mr Jones had gone to Riyadh in November 2000 as a tax adviser for a Saudi-owned accountancy firm, just as a wave of anti-Western bombings was about to sweep across the country.

The ruling by Master Whitaker, whose status is the level below that of a judge, was on a point of law relating to the State Immunity Act 1978.

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