The Corner

Saudi Hush Money?

The Saudi authorities recently released some Britons who had been held, it seems, as scapegoats for terrorist attacks which the Saudis were unwilling to acknowledge as such (it was politically less embarrassing for the Kingdom to link the attacks to illicit alcohol distribution). It appears fairly clear that these Brits were tortured. According to the London Observer ,the Saudis are now trying to buy their silence. That’s an understandable response from a regime that needs no more bad publicity but, as always with the ‘Kingdom’, there’s a touch of (surely counterproductive) thuggery too. The Observer notes “fears are growing for the wife of one of the former prisoners, who remains stranded in Riyadh. Saudi intelligence services have yet to hand back the passport of Sharon Ballard, a nurse, nearly 10 days after her husband flew back to London with British Airways.”

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