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MP takes up case of Briton jailed in Afghanistan

12 May 10 15:24 GMT

An MP has pledged to raise the case of a British man jailed in Afghanistan on bribery charges with the government.

Ex-Army officer Bill Shaw, 52, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, was tried last month by an Afghan anti-corruption court part-funded by the UK government.

His daughter Lisa Luckyn-Malone, from Dover, has started a campaign for his release and has spoken to her local MP.

Charlie Elphicke MP has promised to take up the issue with the new Foreign Office minister and Afghan ambassador.

He said: "What I'm trying to get to the bottom of is whether he had a fair trial and whether he received justice.

'Question mark'

"I'm raising it with the Foreign Office minister as soon as one has been appointed. Also, I'm going to be taking it up with the ambassador from Afghanistan, to ask for a full explanation.

"I understand his employer is standing behind him and I think that's quite important. That puts a big question mark into my mind as to whether he received a fair trial and whether he received justice."

Mr Elphicke added: "There are other avenues as well, I'm reaching out to a former ambassador to Kabul in Afghanistan to ask for his assistance and I'm going to be making contact with Fair Trials Abroad."

In addition to being given a two-year jail sentence Shaw was also fined $25,000 (£16,185).

Shaw, who served for 28 years in the Army and was awarded the MBE, said he believed he was paying a legitimate fine to release two vehicles that were impounded by the national directorate due to licensing irregularities.

Afghan authorities deny his conviction was an attempt to prove foreigners were to blame for corruption in the country.

'Patently unfair'

His lawyers are expected to appeal against his conviction.

The security firm Shaw worked for, G4S, said his conviction - along with that of an Afghan colleague - was "patently unfair".

A G4S spokesman added: "We continue to believe the charges against both Bill Shaw and Maiwand Limar were totally misconceived, not proven in court and we stand fully behind their innocence.

"We strongly disagree with the verdict and maintain that both men behaved in an open and fully transparent fashion.

"It is expected that an appeal will be lodged shortly and we will be encouraging the Afghan and British authorities to work with us in overturning this patently unfair judgement."

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