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Volume 401: debated on Tuesday 18 March 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on Lord Avebury 's recent visit to Bahrain, with particular reference to (a) his plea to King Hamed bin Isa Al Khalifa to pardon Richard Mechan, a British citizen and (b) the evidence of judicial irregularities presented to the King. [101203]

On 10 January 2003 Lord Avebury wrote to my noble Friend Baroness Amos, informing her of his recent visit to Bahrain and his meeting with the Ruler, King Ha med. Lord Avebury handed the King a dossier compiled by Terry Mechan, about the case of his son, Richard Meehan, imprisoned for manslaughter. Lord Avebury has told us that the King agreed to review the case. In a further letter to Baroness Amos on 7 March, Lord Avebury asked if our Embassy in Bahrain could make inquiries with the King's Private Office as to what progress had been made. Our Embassy has been pursing this matter.