DESERT STORM; Two Men Who Made Fools of Scots Courts

By Samson, Peter | Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland), September 28, 1997 | Go to article overview

DESERT STORM; Two Men Who Made Fools of Scots Courts


Samson, Peter, Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)


Hey sneer at people who dare to question Arab justice...

They rubbish the international outcry over the fate of Scots nurse Lucy McLauchlan and her colleague, Deborah Parry.

The Arabs vigorously defend their Islamic law system and traditions.

They shrug off complaints about their court system, the secret hearings, the punishments, the executions and the floggings.

But today, as the nurses face the sword and lash, the Sunday Mail questions the Arab justice system.

We reveal how Saudis flout the Scottish legal system - one of the most respected in the world.

And we tell how Arabs cheat justice when they're away from home.

The cases raise a giant question mark over the way the Saudis handled the aftermath of the murder of Aussie nurse Yvonne Gilford.

And they will leave the nurses' families bewildered at how the Saudis dish out justice. We uncovered startling incidents where - as in the cases of the two nurses - justice has not been seen to be done.

There was the Saudi sex beast who was smuggled out of Scotland - never to face the courts here over sick allegations.

He struck a deal letting him flee the country where he'd been accused of sex offences against three Scots schoolgirls.

Chief Petty Officer Mohammed Al Zahrani, 31, opted to be tried in his homeland - but yesterday a Saudi insider revealed: "It is extremely unlikely that this man was ever punished."

ZAHRANI side-stepped Scotland's legal system in March, 1996, when he was serving on the Al Shaqra minehunter.

The ship was on training exercises at the MoD's British Underwater Test and Evaluation Centre between Kyle of Lochalsh and Skye.

But three 14-year-olds at Kyle swimming pool alerted the authorities about the sailor.

He opted for Saudi justice because of an agreement involving forces personnel.

With the approval of his superiors, Al Zahrani was escorted from his ship and taken south with a "minder".

Several days later, he jetted home to Saudi Arabia.

At the time, the Saudis indicated he was "likely" to be tried under both civil and military law but last night an insider said: "At worst, he possibly lost his rank."

The move was slammed by local councillor Ross McKerlich, who described the incident as being "swept under the carpet".

Last year a wealthy Arab, accused of sexually assaulting a young girl, fled Scotland.

He claimed that he was flying home for his wife's funeral in the United Arab Emirates.

Eidha Mubarak Al-Ameri, 75, was due to stand trial accused of indecently assaulting a seven- year-old Bosnian girl in a hotel attached to the HCI hospital in Clydebank.

The young girl in the case was the daughter of a patient undergoing treatment at the private hospital.

It was thought Al-Ameri also had a relative in the hospital at time of the alleged assault.

But in a dramatic twist, Al-Ameri was given his passport and allowed to leave the country.

He was told he must return to court to face trial - but he has never been seen since.

The only humiliation that Al-Ameri faced was being handcuffed and led from court by two police officers.

His lawyer, Derek Robertson, had denied his client had fled simply to escape justice in Scotland.

Evidence was produced claiming the Arab was ill but Mr Robertson said he had not received replies to letters sent to the United Arab Emirates for three months.

Shortly after his return to the Middle East, Al-Ameri wrote to Dumbarton Sheriff Court claming he was unfit to fly back. …

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