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Wait Goes on for Cleared Painkiller Case Briton
date: 09-May-2005
editorial comment editorial comment
And the stupidity goes on......... Another example of the injustice resulting from the implementation of "morality" as a basis for law.

A British woman cleared by a Dubai court of deliberately carrying banned drugs in her system was left facing a further agonising delay today in her 10-week battle to fly home.

Sports osteopath Tracy Wilkinson was hoping prosecutors in the United Arab Emirates would decide immediately whether or not to appeal against her acquittal.

The 44-year-old was jailed for seven weeks after traces of the painkiller codeine, which is banned in the UAE, was found in her urine in March.

Under UAE law, prosecutors are allowed 15 days to appeal against acquittals. Mrs Wilkinson could have been free to return to her home in West Sussex today if prosecutors had announced they were prepared to waive the 15-day cooling-off period.

But after a meeting with her legal team in Dubai, she has been told no decision will be made for a further “four or five days”, campaign group Fair Trials Abroad said.

Stephen Jacobi, director of Fair Trials Abroad, said: “I have spoken to Tracy today and she has been told it is likely to be four or five days before she’s going to be in a position to come home, and it might even be the full 15 days.

“She remains in good spirits but clearly today’s meeting is a huge disappointment. She is staying in a hotel which she is having to pay for. The whole thing is an incompetent shambles.”

Two months ago, Mrs Wilkinson, of Balcombe, West Sussex, was arrested at Dubai airport over a passport irregularity. She was thrown in prison when a urine sample revealed traces of codeine and the sedative tamazepam.

It is illegal to possess codeine in the Arab state, even in the body’s system, and the mother of two was told she faced a maximum four-year jail sentence.

Ms Wilkinson took the drugs before she flew to the UAE after being prescribed them by her GP in the UK. He later provided evidence to the Dubai authorities that he had given her the pills.

And at a court hearing in Dubai on Saturday, at which Mrs Wilkinson was acquitted, it emerged she was also administered the drugs by a police doctor at Dubai airport before she gave the urine sample, Mr Jacobi said.

A Foreign Office spokesman said yesterday: “We advise all travellers to look at the Foreign Office website before travelling and contact us or the embassy in Dubai for any further information.”

Mrs Wilkinson’s ex-husband Robin, a 50-year-old retired police officer from Handcross, West Sussex, flew out to support her but today said he had no news on when she will be returning home.

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