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View Article  Bill Shaw Returned Home Last Night
Bill Shaw Returned Home Last Night
15th July 2010

Bill and his family together at last

Bill with Ken Semple, ex RMP who mobilised the veteran RMP campaign

Foxnwolf comment;

Great to see you back safe and well Bill. And a big thanks to Ken for leading this campaign, and not forgetting the assistance of GS4 in this long running battle.......
View Article  Briton Bill Shaw cleared of Afghan bribery charge
Briton Bill Shaw cleared of Afghan bribery charge

Bill Shaw ahead of the appeal hearing

Mr Shaw's family have always insisted he was innocent

An Afghan appeal court has dropped all charges against a British man accused of bribery, citing lack of evidence.

Bill Shaw, a 52-year-old former Army officer from Leeds, was found guilty of bribery charges in March.

At the time, he was manager of the security firm G4S providing protection to foreigners in Afghanistan.

In court, Mr Shaw admitted paying for the release of two impounded vehicles but insisted he thought he was paying a legitimate fine.

Afghan officials who took the money have since disappeared.

After his trial at Afghanistan's newly-established anti-corruption court in March, Mr Shaw was jailed for two years and fined £16,185.

Mr Shaw, who served for 28 years in the British army and was awarded the MBE for his service, was held in Kabul's Pul-e-Charkhi prison, alongside inmates from the Taliban and al-Qaeda.

His family had always maintained he was innocent of all charges.

Foxnwolf comment;

Great news for Bill and his family. Hope your home soon.......

View Article  Ex-soldier Bill Shaw's battle for Afghan Jail Release

The family of a British former serviceman in prison in Kabul say the UK government is not doing enough to get him released

Bill Shaw, 52, from Leeds, West Yorkshire, was given a two-year sentence in April after he was found guilty by the newly-established anti-corruption court of bribery charges.

He was working for G4S, a company providing security for the British Embassy in Kabul.

In court, Shaw admitted paying for the release of two impounded vehicles last October but insisted he thought he was paying a legitimate fine, not offering a bribe.

He and his family have protested his innocence from the beginning. However, after a trip to visit him in Kabul, they feel disillusioned.

His wife, Liz, says: "He feels as though he's just been left there to carry the can and he's questioning why more isn't being done?

"We've written to the Queen, the prime minister, the foreign secretary and all we get are stock replies."

The government has said it would leave direct intervention in the case until after an appeal has been heard.

However, no date for a hearing has been set and it could be as much as two months away.

Shaw's daughter, Lisa Luckyn-Malone, from Dover, in Kent, says: "He needs help far sooner than that. He's in a pretty bad way out there and I think he's struggling.

This is the kind of person we should protect if we are to honour the military covenant

Charlie Elphicke Dover and Deal MP

"He's trying to put on a brave face but a man can only take so much. He needs help sooner rather than later."

That "brave face" can be seen in a letter penned by Shaw - his first communication with the wider world since being imprisoned - and handed to his family when they visited him.

"I have now been transferred to the infamous Pul-e-Charki prison and just about coping whilst we await the appeal process," it reads.

"The main thing that has helped me and my family during this stressful time is the amount of support and help from our friends and former colleagues, from the many years of service. Thank you."

Ms Luckyn-Malone says her father's 28 years in the Army put him in danger in Pul-e-Charki, where large numbers of Taliban prisoners are also held.

"He's constantly looking over his shoulder. He's got to keep his guard up and he shouldn't be living like this for so long," she says.

Political motives?

The family say Mr Shaw's military past is well-known inside the prison. One Taliban leader reportedly kissed him when he arrived, which they have taken to be a sinister gesture.

Their case has now been taken up by Dover and Deal MP, Charlie Elphicke, part of the new Conservative intake. He is urging the Foreign Office (FCO) to make representations to the Afghan government.

"He has an MBE. He was promoted from the ranks and ended his career as a major and a decorated officer," says Mr Elphicke.

"This is the kind of person we should protect if we are to honour the military covenant and it seems he isn't getting the assistance from the FCO that really he should have.

Liz Shaw and Lisa Luckyn-Malone
After visiting Kabul, the family believe the government is doing too little

"Overshadowing this seems to be an issue of a political nature.

"The previous government was busy criticising the Afghan regime for having corrupt officials. There's more than a hint of suspicion the Afghan regime wanted to show that British people are also corrupt."

Mr Elphicke raised the issue in his maiden speech in the Commons, and hopes to meet a Foreign Office minister this week.

He says several other Tory MPs support him and are ready to go public if there is no change of tack from the government.

The family's Facebook campaign, Free Bill Shaw, is also filled with outrage, much from people who say they are servicemen.

One post reads: "An absolute scandal, I cannot believe our government still haven't done anything. As a serving soldier I feel betrayed on this man's behalf that our country still has not demanded his release."

The Foreign Office says it is following the case closely.

"We are continuing to provide consular assistance to Mr Shaw, including frequent visits to see him, and working to ensure the best possible treatment and facilities.

"We have been in frequent contact with Mr Shaw's family and employers."

However, Ms Luckyn-Malone says her father told her no-one had visited from the embassy in the previous nine weeks.

"The FCO have not been personally in touch with us of their own will.

"It's been through us writing to them asking for explanations, and we've had fairly standard letters back. That's it. Nothing's been explained to us, there have been no reassurances."

While they were in Kabul, the family experienced rocket attacks and demonstrations but they also praised local people for their kindness and hospitality.

Back home in Dover, Ms Luckyn-Malone's eight-year-old daughter Madeleine tells how she told her school assembly about writing to the Queen for help.

The family TV has been tuned more than ever before to rolling news. But recent trips to Kabul by William Hague and David Cameron brought no good news.

"We sit there in anticipation that something might be being said out there, excited that this might be the moment that can lead to dad's release," says Ms Luckyn-Malone.

"But then we feel very disappointed when the moment is passed and you realise perhaps he's a small fish in a very big ocean and not even being touched upon."

Foxnwolf comment;

"I understand" that G4S Risk Management are on top of this issue and are doing everything they can to keep Bill and his lawyer up to date with information and any personal requisites as often as is required. Even though he is in prison he is relatively safe (which is important) and relatively comfortable, this does not detract from the position that he finds himself in and that he should not be there in the first place. Fingers crossed for the appeal and good luck to Bill from thousands of his supporters, his friends and colleagues at G4S and of course his family....... 

PMPT & Semper Fi.......

View Article  Bill Shaw; prison change

If Shaw's appeal does not succeed he will serve his two years in Pul-e-Charkhi, a crumbling hulk on the outskirts of Kabul that is being redeveloped by the international community, who fear its terrible conditions are radicalising inmates.

It was only in recent months that prison authorities succeeded in retaking a wing of the building that had come under the complete control of Taliban prisoners.

Other foreign inmates have included Jonathan Idema, a US bounty hunter who was convicted in 2004 for imprisoning Afghans in a private prison as part of his quest to find Osama bin Laden.While on remand, Shaw was transferred to the British-funded counter-narcotics justice centre after the British embassy asked for him to be moved to a better detention facility.

"If Bill Shaw intends to appeal we will press the Afghan authorities to make sure that process happens as quickly as possible.

We will provide consular assistance including working to ensure best possible treatment and facilities," said an embassy spokesman today.

Consular assistance means Shaw can expect a visit by embassy officials once every six weeks.

Foxnwolf comment;

Pack of Marlboro & a copy of the Mail (every 6 weeks) I just dont understand these people. I thought we look after our own.

G4S does not seem to be doing much about Bill, I hope I am wrong. Hate to think they are just "wetnursing" and protecting their future contracts by not "interfering".

Plus, our Prime Minister & Foreign Office should be working full tilt on this.......
View Article  Bill Shaw; a suggested letter for support
A suggested template for letters/emails is as follows:
Just copy and paste the text on to a word document or email text box

Dear Mr or Mrs ???

Congratulations on your election. As my MP, I would like to now formally request your support in the plight of Bill Shaw, a former British Army Major with 28 years¹ service, who has been wrongfully convicted of corruption in Afghanistan and jailed for two years and fined $25,000.

Anyone who knows Bill, knows that the idea he would do anything illegal is absurd. He was awarded the MBE for his service in the Royal Military Police in Iraq, Northern Ireland and Cyprus and is universally regarded as "straight as an arrow". But those who don¹t know him should consider the following facts about his case:

€ he paid a release fee to Afghan officials after his company¹s vehicles were impounded by a unit of the Afghan Government

€ when this happened again he and his company (G4S) complained to the Afghan government with the full involvement of the British Embassy in Kabul

€ he co-operated fully with an Afghan inquiry into the matter, even
returning from leave in the UK to assist them. He was then arrested and charged with bribery

€ he has already had two trials for the same charge

€ at the first the judge essentially told him that from a legal perspective he was innocent of the charges

€ his second trial was a travesty: it lasted two hours, he had no
interpreter and no evidence or witnesses were produced against him, and the judge only asked the prosecution one question, and only at the request of Bill¹s defence lawyer.

Bill is now in jail in Kabul in a prison where Taliban are also held. For a British Army veteran this is unacceptable: for an innocent man it is absolutely monstrous.

I am formally asking you to join the family¹s campaign to get Bill released: over 7,000 people have joined so far and hundreds more across the world are joining by the day. We are also receiving significant support from the media, including the BBC, GMTV, The Guardian and the Sunday Times.

If you would like further background about Bill¹s case please visit the Free Bill Shaw Facebook page.

Please help us right this terrible injustice. Please ask the Foreign
Secretary and Prime Minister to do everything they can to bring Bill Shaw home to his family.

Yours sincerely

Mr or Mrs ???
View Article  Bill Shaw; Appeal Lodged
Bill has this week lodged his appeal against conviction. It wasn't an easy decision because if he didn't appeal then people would assume he is guilty and if he does appeal and loses they can actually add to his sentence!

Support is building and now that the elections are out of the way,
politicians are getting involved, so hopefully pressure will be put on the Afghanis as a result. It will however be a slow process but hopefully we will get Bill back home as soon as possible.

(Ken Semple)
View Article  British Embassy security chief Bill Shaw (ex RMP) jailed for two years over Afghan 'bribe'

The manager of a British security company that provides protection for the British Embassy in Kabul has been sentenced to two years in a notorious Afghan prison for corruption.

Lawyers representing Bill Shaw, MBE, said they would appeal against the conviction

Bill Shaw, a former British army officer, is employed by G4S, which looks after diplomatic staff in Kabul, including those from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Development, and Revenue & Customs.

He was detained in Kabul on March 4 and accused of paying a $20,000 (£13,000) bribe to Afghan officials for the return of two armoured vehicles belonging to the company.

Shaw, appointed MBE for 20 years of service with the Royal Military Police, told the court that he believed he was paying a fine, rather than a bribe for the release of the vehicles, which were impounded in October. G4S said in a statement that the company continues to support Shaw’s assertions of innocence. A spokesman told reporters that the charges against him were “totally misconceived”.

His lawyer, Kimberly Motley, said that the case had been poorly conducted and that Shaw would launch an appeal.

G4S is the world’s largest security company and the single largest private-sector employer of former British servicemen. The British Embassy in Kabul is defended by a mixed force of former Gurkhas and British soldiers employed by G4S.

Shaw will serve his sentence at Pul-e-Charki jail, a crumbling Soviet-era prison outside Kabul where many inmates are convicted former Taleban fighters.

His case is the most high-profile of its kind to be brought before an anti-corruption tribunal set up — after intense Western pressure — by President Karzai’s Government in an effort to address chronic corruption highlighted by last year’s presidential elections.

A G4S spokesman said: “Bill was arrested following his support for an ongoing investigation into alleged corrupt activities. We believe the arrest to be the result of a misunderstanding and continue to work closely with the Afghan authorities and the British Embassy to better understand the circumstances surrounding the detention and charges.”

Afghanistan is the second most corrupt country on Earth after Somalia, according to the Index on Corruption. Relations between the security companies working in the Afghan capital and local authorities are often tense, with many complaining that the rules governing their activities are being changed continuously.

Insiders at the British Embassy told The Times that Shaw paid $20,000 to two agents of the Afghan National Directorate of Security (NDS), the intelligence service, after the vehicles were impounded because they lacked Ministry of Interior licences.

However, the agents reportedly disappeared with the money. The NDS began its own inquiry into events and Shaw was called for questioning.

“It was suggested to him at this point that it was a good idea to leave the country on a British military flight,” one insider said, adding that Shaw had cleared the $20,000 fine with his head office in London before paying it.

“But he didn’t take that advice. Next the NDS turned up and arrested him.” An Afghan employee of G4S was also convicted and sentenced to two years in prison.

Please also consider adding your own voice to the petition

to have this overturned ASAP

"Click Here"

Embassy Contact(s)

British Embassy, 15th Street Roundabout, Wazir Akbar Khan,
PO Box: 334
Kabul, Afghanistan 
Opening Hours:
Sunday - Thursday  08:30  to 16:30 
(93)  (0) 700 102 000 (Switchboard)
(93)  (0) 700 102 250  (Management)
BritishEmbassy.Kabul@fco.gov.uk (use this email to query)