Pals of Scots lad facing year in Middle East jail on drugs charges raise £12k

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Desperate supporters of a Scots man, who is languishing in a Greek jail awaiting possible extradition to the Middle East on drug charges, have raised more than £12,000 to support his family.

We told how Lothian man Conor Howard, known to pals as ‘Milky’, had been arrested in Corfu when flying over to visit his mum in August.

He had been arrested on an Interpol notice after Qatar authorities say they found drugs on the 27-year-old when passing through the Middle Eastern state last October on the way back from a work trip to Australia.

Pals are trying to get Conor back to Scotland
(Image: Daily Record)

His devastated friends and family say a clean cannabis grinder was found and after a court appearance they claim he was told to leave the country.

But they were shocked when the train worker was arrested in Corfu- where he is currently in a jail cell pending hearings and a possible extradition to face a potential year in jail in the Middle East.

At the start of the month Conor had a bail hearing on the Greek island where his dad Robert said he was remanded waiting a further hearing.

A online fundraiser has since been launched by pals Kyle Williams and Lauren Young in aid of Conor’s mum Adele and made an amazing £12,663.

Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, an organisation that campaigns against judicial abuse in the United Arab Emirates and Gulf region, and East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill, have both announced they are supporting Conor’s plight.

He had been working in Australia and returning through Qatar

An update given on September 8 by the fundraising page read: “In order to help Conor fight this we have lawyers in both Greece and Qatar plus Radah Stirling Founder of Detained in Dubai working hard to bring him home which means legal fees are building by the day!

“As well as this the prison is a 1.5hr journey from Robert and Adele who are travelling this by taxi each day costing 120 euro.

“To allow us to continue to support Robert, Adele and family in bringing Conor home a free man we have increased the gofundme! We are extremely grateful to all who have supported and donated so far we really do appreciate it and would appreciate your continued support in sharing the gofundme page.”

A further post on the day read: “Last week Conor was up at court in Greece and refused bail, as a result of this he is being detained in prison for a further three weeks and will then reappear at court.

“At the next hearing we are hoping that Conor will be released on bail allowed to remain in Greece until the matter with Qatar is resolved if not released on bail he will be detained until a further hearing in the future which could take anything from four months to 12 months before be extradited to Qatar (which we are hoping will not happen).”

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Papers seen by the Record show an form of international arrest warrant called an Interpol ‘red notice’ was issued in July stating that Connor is a ‘fugitive’.

The documents show that the young engineer was charged on October 18 2019 after being found in possession of ‘Narcotic substance Indian Hemp’. They go on to confirm that Conor was convicted and sentenced on January 26 2020, but did not appear in court on that date.

The papers further state that extradition back to Qatar will be sought upon his arrest.

Connor’s parents have been contacted by the Daily Record for comment.