Iraq awaits diplomatic note from Qatar to release Brian Glendinning
Scottish construction engineer Brian Glendinning has been locked up for two months in egregious conditions in a Baghdad jail after Qatar issued an Interpol Red Notice for bank debt.
An Iraqi judge has told lawyers he will release Brian as soon as a diplomatic note is received from Qatar.
“We have persuaded Qatar National Bank to withdraw the police case after a third party donor discharged the liability”, explains Interpol & extradition crisis consultant Radha Stirling. “The bank assured us they would delete the Interpol Red Notice and instruct the Qatari authorities to withdraw the extradition request. This is a unique situation though; Brian is not sitting in the comfort of his own home, he is suffering in the most appalling conditions and it’s imperative that Qatar and the United Kingdom push for an urgent resolution. We must remember, this should never have happened in the first place.
“Britain’s Ambassador has assured me they will provide consular assistance in this respect and Douglas Chapman, MP has pushed Qatar’s Ambassador again today.
“The bank no longer wants Brian in a Qatari jail. They have their money. They’ve successfully misused Interpol as their own personal debt collectors and now all that’s needed is a note to Iraq confirming the same.
“With the World Cup looming, we hope Qatar will do the right thing here and end this family’s nightmare,” added Stirling.
Brian’s family has been under incredible stress the past week. “We are hoping the end is near but we are well aware this could go on for weeks, months or years”, said John Glendinning, Brian’s brother. “We know there are other people in this situation who have been jailed for over a year and we are beyond worried. It wouldn’t take much for Qatar’s Ministry of Interior to pick up the phone and confirm with QNB that Brian isn’t wanted anymore but will they do that? I don’t know. Kimberly is hanging in there but it’s getting harder and harder and we don’t know if we can trust the bank’s word. We hope we can.”
Brian is not the first Briton detained abroad on the request of Qatar National Bank. “The bank waits for people to get arrested then demands funds to release them even though this is a complete violation of Interpol regulations and extradition treaties. Most of the time, the victim will be released since debt is not a crime but the process can be lengthy and costly”, added Stirling.
“It’s disappointing that the bank exploited the system and on this occasion, it’s worked for them which will only encourage further abuse. We need more robust provisions in place to protect British citizens in the future. This is why I have worked with MP’s today to put a parliamentary question to the Home Office.
“I have suggested our NCA should notify citizens of any Red Notices against them from the Gulf region so they are aware of any issues prior to travel, especially when pertaining to financial crime allegations such as breach of trust or fraud (categories misused to describe debt). This would allow citizens the chance to contest the Notice before travel and prevent future wrongful arrests abroad.”
Brian’s predicament is surprisingly commonplace and it’s not the first time the issue has been discussed in Parliament.
“Conor Howard, Brian Glendinning, Alan Stevenson, Robert Urwin and Steven Williams are just a handful of cases we have published. All of these cases resulted in the unlawful and lengthy detention of British nationals abroad. None of them should ever have been able to be listed on Interpol and the Interpol warrants were later deleted. Alan’s detention in Prague was ruled a violation of his human rights and Robert spent over a year in prison. It’s outrageous”.
Radha Stirling, an expert witness, founded IPEX Reform to address the widespread and multilayered problems with the current framework of the extradition process. “The British government has the opportunity to protect nationals from further abuse simply by notifying them of Interpol warrants from emerging authoritarian nations”.
STIRLINGPRESS: Interpol Press information pack:
John Nicholas was listed on Interpol by Qatar National Bank:
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