Scot facing year in Middle East jail on drug charges to be released on bail

A young Scots man who is facing a year in a Middle East jail for drug charges will finally be reunited with his family tomorrow after being released on bail.

Conor Howard’s step-dad Robert has told the Daily Record the 27-year-old is being let out of the Corfu prison where he has spent the last month, after having his bail application granted.

Conor is unable to travel back to Scotland as authorities have banned him from flying whilst on bail.

Conor Howard, Robert Young, and Adele Young
(Image: Detained in Dubai / SWNS.COM)

Robert, who is now a Greek citizen alongside Conor’s mum Adele, said: “It’s a massive relief to know Conor is getting out.

“We have spent the last month only being allowed to see him through bars and glass in a prison which is an hour away, so to finally know he will be at home with us is a massive weight off our mind.

“Yes we’re still stressed and apprehensive about what’s going to happen but we’re trying to keep our spirits up.”

Lothian man Conor, known to pals as ‘Milky’, was arrested in Corfu when flying over to visit Adele and Robert in August.

He was arrested on an Interpol notice after Qatar authorities say they found drugs  on him when passing through the Middle Eastern state last October on the way back from a work trip to Australia.

He had been working in Australia and returning through Qatar

Speaking at the time of his arrest, his devastated friends and family said a clean cannabis grinder was found and after a court appearance they claim he was told to leave the country.

They were shocked when the train worker was arrested in Corfu.

At the start of the month Conor had a bail hearing on the Greek island. His application for bail was denied and he was remanded in custody facing a possible extradition to a jail in the Middle East.

Robert said Connor has coped well in prison under the difficult circumstances.

He added: “He’s been baring up well all things considering.  He was in quarantine for 14 days and then released into the mainstream block.

“We’ve been able to see him three days a week and he seemed to be handling it as well as he could.

“We’re just happy he’s getting out and will be living with us for the next six weeks.”

A online fundraiser was launched by Conor’s pals Kyle Williams and Lauren Young in aid of his family. So far they have raised around £13K.

Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, an organisation that campaigns against judicial abuse in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf region said: “While we are pleased that Conor Howard has been granted bail and will be home with his family tomorrow, he should never have been locked up in a Corfu jail in the first place.

“At the whim of a country notorious for Interpol and extradition abuse, a European country has been used as a conduit to unfairly detain a British national.

“Qatar has been responsible for a number of arrests and detentions inside the EU over the past 24 months. 

“In none of these cases, were the victims extradited and in all cases I have dealt with, the victims were released and removed from Interpol’s database. 

“What this demonstrates is Qatar’s misuse of Interpol and how European countries are enabling Middle Eastern countries to export human rights violations, jailing citizens at the whim of countries who are repeat abusers of the trusted Interpol organisation.

“Although Conor has been finally granted bail, Greece has allowed Qatar until the 4th of November to present further evidence, meaning Conor is not allowed to return to Scotland and still risks being extradited to a desert prison.

“What the Howard family has had to endure is incredibly taxing, both emotionally and financially. 

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“While they are lucky to have so much support, they will not rest easy until this nightmare is over.”

Conor is due to appear back in court on November 4.

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