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Prince enters jailed Briton row

Prince Charles raised discussed the issue at a banquet in Riyadh
Prince Charles raised discussed the issue at a banquet in Riyadh  

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- The Prince of Wales has intervened in the case of a Briton who faces possible execution in Saudi Arabia.

Prince Charles raised the subject of Sandy Mitchell during discussions with Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz at a royal banquet in Riyadh on Friday night.

Mitchell appeared on Saudi TV earlier this month to admit masterminding a recent bombing campaign in the kingdom.

He faces being publicly beheaded if he is found guilty, and human rights campaigners have branded his TV confession "forced" and a "show trial."

Amnesty International had called on the Prince of Wales, who has visited Saudi many times, to exert his "considerable influence" on the country's ruling royals by raising human rights concerns during his three-day cultural visit.

"The matter was raised in discussions between the Crown Prince and the Prince of Wales," a St James's Palace spokeswoman told the UK Press Association on Saturday.

It is believed Prince Charles raised the issue of consular access amid concerns over the delay of more than a week before British embassy officials were allowed to see Mitchell and several other Britons arrested at the end of last year.

Mitchell, who was living and working in Riyadh at a military hospital, is still in custody along with several other Westerners.

His television confession related to the car bombing that killed Briton Christopher Rodway, a 47-year-old engineer from Salisbury, on November 17, 2000.

Mitchell, who made his confession along with Canadian William Sampson and Belgian Raaf Schifte, also said he had been involved in a car blast on November 22 which injured three Britons, one seriously, and an Irishwoman.

Amnesty International said earlier in the week: "Prince Charles, with his standing in the world and close ties to members of the Saudi royal family, is in a unique position to help influence a greater respect for human rights in the country."

The Prince of Wales is in Saudi Arabia to open an exhibition of paintings which includes 35 of his own water colours and 26 oil paintings by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, the nephew of Saudi's King Fahd.

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The Prince of Wales
British Foreign & Commonwealth Office
Saudi Arabia Ministry of Information: Judicial System

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