Flogging threat lifted as Brit grandfather awaits release

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A British grandfather is expected to be released from prison later this week following a pardon by the king of Saudi Arabia.

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Karl Andree has lived in Saudi Arabia for several years

Seventy-four year old Karl Andree had been facing the prospect of 360 lashes after being caught with homemade wine in his car in August last year. He has already served the custody part of his sentence – 12 months behind bars.

Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond tweeted of his “delight” that Mr Andree is to be released.

The full tweet read: “Delighted to announce Brit Karl Andree will be released from Saudi custody within a week & reunited with his family.”

Mr Andree’s family have previously made media appeals calling for his release, fearing he would die if he received the 360 lashes he was sentenced to, although Saudi officials said his age would make him unlikely to receive the physical punishment.

Simon Andree said he was “absolutely thrilled” at the news his father, who is a grandfather of seven, would be released.

“The Foreign Office called me this morning and told me Philip Hammond was in Saudi but they didn’t tell me anything else,” he said.

“I’ve been watching the TV all day waiting for the news.”

Mr Hammond said: “This is a good outcome and I’m grateful to minister Al-Jubeir and all other people who have been involved, especially His Royal Highness the Crown Prince, for ensuring that we now have a good outcome.”