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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 January, 2004, 18:33 GMT
British trucker wins appeal
David Wilson leaves court
David Wilson was a relieved man as he left court in Patras
A lorry driver who faced 11 years in jail for smuggling illegal immigrants into Greece has won his appeal.

David Wilson, 44, of Wyke, Bradford, had his conviction and sentence quashed at the hearing in Patras, Greece.

There were emotional scenes in the courtroom as Mr Wilson learnt of the decision through an interpreter.

He had previously spent nine-and-a-half weeks in prison after 19 Iraqi Kurds were found in his truck in March 2003, but always maintained his innocence.

Truck returned

Family spokesman Richard Frier said Mr Wilson was elated with the news.

Mr Frier said: "The appeal's gone through. We've won. David's an innocent man. We are over the moon."

Mr Frier said the judge had ruled that Mr Wilson would have his bail money and his truck returned to him.

Mr Wilson and his wife Tracey are staying in a hotel in Greece before making their way back to Britain, possibly in his truck.

As he left the court, the only comment Mr Wilson made was that the result was "great".

Family and friends

One of Yorkshire's MEPs, Richard Corbett, has been fighting for the release of Mr Wilson ever since the truck driver was arrested and visited him while he was in jail in Greece.

Mr Corbett said on Tuesday: "The last year has been dreadful for David and his family and friends.

"I have been particularly worried about David's wife, Tracey, who has been in turmoil since his imprisonment.

"Now that David has finally been acquitted, he and his family can start to get back to some kind of normality in their lives without the constant threat of imprisonment hanging over their heads."


WATCH AND LISTEN
The BBC's Richard Galpin
"David Wilson was determined to clear his name"



SEE ALSO:
Trucker faces Greek appeal
11 Jan 04  |  West Yorkshire
Greek court releases trucker
23 May 03  |  England
Bail hearing for jailed driver
18 May 03  |  England
Trucker 'gobsmacked' at prison term
25 Apr 03  |  West Yorkshire
Lorry driver jailed in Greece
25 Mar 03  |  England


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