A British grandfather and former oil worker living in Saudi Arabia who was facing a a public lashing for violating the kingdom’s strict alcohol prohibition will be reunited with his family in a week.
According to the BBC, Karl Andree will return to the UK within the next week after spending over a year in a Saudi prison for possession of alcohol.
The grandfather of seven was arrested in Jeddah in August 2014 after authorities discovered his bottles of home-made wine.
“Delighted to announce Brit Karl Andree will be released from Saudi custody within a week & reunited with his family,” Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond wrote in a Tweet.
Andree, a 74-year-old cancer survivor, was facing over 350 public lashes for the infraction, a punishment his family feared would kill him.
Andree’s son Simon told the Sun earlier this month that his father requires treatment for cancer and for asthma and is too frail to withstand the punishment.
“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,” Secretary Hammond told the BBC.
Andree’s family appealed to the media and UK politicians to intervene in the case.
“We have always acted on human rights and on British prisoners overseas, with all countries, not just Saudi Arabia, we raise these concerns. We try to do it diplomatically and carefully and in the end it’s about getting a good result for a British citizen and I’m pleased that on this occasion this person has been released,” UK Prime Minister David Cameron said.
Kirsten Piroth, Andree’s daughter, told the BBC that her father’s release is “huge relief.”