HC Deb 25 June 2002 vol 387 c731
9. Mr. David Cameron (Witney)

What representations his Department has made to the Omani Government about Jonathan Lincoln Brown; and if he will make a statement. [62112]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (Mr. Mike O'Brien)

Our embassy in Muscat has made at least 12 representations to the Omani Government concerning Mr. Lincoln Brown since November 2000. The embassy was instrumental in restoring Mr. Lincoln Brown's right of appeal in December 2001. Although this case is essentially a private legal matter and we cannot interfere in another country's judicial process, we will continue to provide Mr. Lincoln Brown with all the assistance that we properly can.

Mr. Cameron

I am very grateful for that answer. Is the Minister aware that Mr. Lincoln Brown has been stuck in Oman for some 19 months? Could the Minister press the Omani authorities to ensure that Mr. Lincoln Brown is allowed to appeal in the normal way, and that his complaint to the director of public prosecutions in Oman about the manner of his treatment can be dealt with in the normal way? Will the Minister also give me an assurance that the friendly relations that we rightly have with that country will not get in the way of making robust representations on my constituent's behalf?

Mr. O'Brien

We have already made robust representations, and I have given the hon. Gentleman an assurance that we will continue to do so. We have always taken Mr. Lincoln Brown's case very seriously, and we will continue to do so and to help him. Work on his case has amounted to more than 50 per cent. of the total time dedicated to individual British nationals in Oman. I shall certainly consider both the points that the hon. Gentleman raises, and if he is happy for me to do so I shall write to him about when and how we can make the representations that he considers necessary.

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