A BRITISH man who served nearly four years for manslaughter in a Bahrain jail is to sue the Middle Eastern state for false imprisonment and torture.
Richard Mechan, 38, of Kingsholm, Gloucester, was sentenced to 15 years for stabbing to death Marshall Emmons, 31, a fibre optics engineer from Tucson, Arizona, in Bahrain in July 2000. The term was later reduced to five years after his case of self-defence went before a court.
Last summer Mr Mechan, a father of one who was earning £75,000 a year as an information technology manager for the Aramco oil company, was freed to return home after Jack Straw, the Home Secretary, intervened on his behalf.
On Wednesday he will issue a writ on four members of the Government of Bahrain, claiming false imprisonment and torture.
He is taking the action against Sheikh Khalifa bin Rashid al-Khalifa, deputy head of the Supreme Council for Justice, Colonel V B Walmsley, a Briton working for the Ministry of the Interior in Bahrain, Colonel Abdul Racman Amuruci, director of Jau prison in Bahrain, and Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, the Bahraini Ambassador to Britain.
Mr Mechan said: “I tried to go back to Bahrain in March to begin my legal action but was denied admission to the country. Now I’m refreshed and I’m ready to have a go at them.
“I’m one man with a private case and they have deep pockets — so what are they scared of? They know I have a solid case. Jack Straw’s plea was based on solid legal opinion. If I can’t do it there, they forgo the States Immunity Act and I’m allowed to have them tried by the courts in this country.
“What they did was contrary to just about every human rights convention,” Mr Mechan said. “There are nearly 5,000 Brits wrongly imprisoned abroad. If you don’t have a father like mine, who’ll fight for you, you’re in trouble with these flaky governments