LONDON: A Scottish engineer detained in Iraq over alleged outstanding debt owed to Qatar National Bank has been released and is expected to arrive home this week, The Guardian reported.
Brian Glendinning was intercepted by authorities at Baghdad airport in September after Qatar issued an Interpol red notice for his arrest.
He had been contracted to work at a BP oil refinery in the country.
It was claimed that the 43-year-old owed outstanding payments to QNB. He was subsequently held in an Iraqi prison, with several human rights organizations campaigning for his release.
Detained in Dubai, a campaign group, said that Glendinning was released on Sunday after QNB released a clearance note days earlier detailing that the Scot was no longer sought by Qatar for extradition.
In 2017, Glendinning was sentenced in absentia to two years’ imprisonment for defaulting on a $23,550 debt that he had taken out while living in Doha.
But his family claim that QNB did not inform Glendinning that he had been sentenced.
A crowdfunding campaign established by the family to aid in legal bills has raised more than $36,000.
Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai and the Interpol and Extradition Reform, or Ipex, initiative, said: “Mr. Glendinning’s lawyer Tahseen Alchaabawi gave us the good news this morning. It was an emotional moment for his family and I couldn’t be happier for the Glendinnings.”
Stirling accused Qatar of consistently abusing the Interpol system, and warned football fans to take precautions when traveling to the World Cup later this month.
She added: “Iraq was furnished with evidence from Qatar National Bank last week to prove the extradition was over bank debt.
“Brian is free due to a combination of lobbying and media efforts, negotiating and settling the debt with QNB and strong diplomatic representations.”
Through Ipex, Stirling plans to launch a class-action lawsuit against Interpol.
Glendinning’s brother John told the BBC that his sibling had been contacted by UK Embassy staff and was now staying in secure accommodation.
However, he described the conditions that his brother endured in the Iraqi prison as “vile.”
He said: “Brian was held in a holding cell with up to 44 people — a mixture of terrorists, drug dealers, people who murdered their own father, using a shotgun.”
“And there was Brian Glendinning, never missed a day of school and arguably on a civil case and held in those conditions.
“The welfare was extremely low. Bottles of water were kept where rats were visible crawling over them. Brown water out the taps for the shower and food was very poor.
“He’s in the hotel now. I’ve seen a photo of him with a beer and I’m so happy he’s free.
“It was really emotional for the family. Even our father teared up and he never cries. Kimberly (Glendinning’s partner), the children, they can breathe again. Now it’s just hours until they are together.”
A Foreign and Commonwealth Development office said that Glendinning was being provided with consular support.