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Page last updated at 09:35 GMT, Wednesday, 21 July 2010 10:35 UK
Family bid to free Teesside man
Former paratrooper Anthony Malone
Anthony Malone has served six months longer than his jail term

The family of a Teesside man who was jailed in Afghanistan on fraud charges are pressing ahead with their campaign to secure his release.

Anthony Malone, a 37-year-old former paratrooper from Billingham, was arrested in January 2008.

He's now served six months longer than his two-year jail sentence at Puli-Charkhi prison.

The issue was raised in the House of Commons last week by Stockton South MP James Wharton.

'Fear of his life'

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has joined in by giving his backing to the Malone family:

"It's absolutely intolerable that a British man from my constituency languishes in an Afghan prison.

"He's actually in fear of his life and yet there is no legal basis for holding him because it is against international law to detain someone for reasons of debt".

'No legal representation'

Meanwhile Anthony's father Patrick Malone has told BBC Tees his son should be free by now:

"Anthony was arrested in 2008 for allegedly owing money and was tried by an anti corruption court in Kabul.

"We don't know the charges. At the actual trial he did not have any legal representation, no interpreter and we don't think anyone from the embassy was there. He had no help whatsoever."

The Malone family are now pinning their hopes on a lawyer who secured the release of a fellow British inmate from the same jail earlier this month.

'Volatile prison'

Kimberley Motley, negotiated the release of Bill Shaw, a 52-year-old former Army officer from Leeds who was found guilty of bribery charges in March but has since been acquitted.

She says both have had their human rights violated:

"It's a very volatile prison, it's very close quarters. There are almost 5000 inmates at Puli-Charkhi... you're mixing with Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

"It's a very very dangerous environment especially for the likes of those that are internationals and those that have past military experience."

Kimberley says she is set to visit Anthony in the next few days but insists he's in good spirits:

"He's just trying to get through this period.

"He's also very hopeful he'll get out soon and he's very appreciative of all the assistance he's getting from family and friends."

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