Family of granddad set to be freed from Saudi prison happy but cautious ‘until he’s on plane’ to Clapham

The son of an ill granddad who faced 350 lashes in Saudi Arabia is ‘extremely pleased’ that his father will join him at home in Clapham by next week.

It was announced yesterday that Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond had reached an agreement guaranteeing the release of Karl Andree, 74, who has been in prison since August last year.

The news comes as a relief to Mr Andree’s family as they have publically feared for his life over the last month as the brutal sentence ran the risk of killing him.

Mr Andree’s son, Simon, 35, of Clapham, told SW Londoner: “I am extremely pleased, extremely happy and very thankful to everyone that has been involved and for all their help.

“Obviously it’s ‘until he’s on a plane’, as they say, so we’ll take everything with a pinch of salt but hopefully it’s all moving in the right direction.

“The government have performed now. It’s taken a long time to get to where we are but clearly going public was the right thing from what I can see as its managed to move things forward quickly.

“It’s opened a whole can of worms but obviously our main goal was to get our father back.”

Mr Hammond, who is currently visiting Saudi Arabia, voiced his delight at the outcome on Twitter.

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

Mr Andree was imprisoned in the Muslim country where alcohol is prohibited for possession of homemade wine.

Having previously battled colon and bladder cancer, Mr Andree’s fragile health was the focus of a campaign to have his punishment waived.

Mr Andree’s family decided to take his case public with a petition two weeks ago urging Prime Minister David Cameron to appeal to the Saudi government on their behalf.

The petition has since been signed more than 255,600 times.

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