Extradited!: One Man's Prison Hell and His Lover's Fight for Justice [Secure eReader]
Click on image to enlarge.
eBook by Andrew Crofts
eBook Category: People/Politics/Government
eBook Description: A man wrongly imprisoned in a foreign country for drug smuggling and the girlfriend who led the fight to free him tell this extraordinary account of prison horror and endurance, laced with romance and adventure. John Packwood and Jane Amestoy alternate chapters as they recount John's Spanish imprisonment and extradition to Morocco, as Jane's case eventually catches the attention of politicians, human rights campaigners, and celebrities such as George Clooney, Hugh Grant, Joseph Fiennes, Damien Hirst, and Annie Lennox. With the combined efforts of Jane's hard work and the snowballing power behind them, John was eventually freed after 13 uncertain months in an unforgiving foreign system.
eBook Publisher: Vision Paperbacks/Vision Paperbacks
Fictionwise Release Date: September 2007
In March 1997 a friend asked if I fancied a job as the engineer on a boat delivery to Morocco. I had worked with Matt before, having spent five weeks delivering a boat to Cyprus when he was just a deckhand. Now he was a newly qualified captain and I liked the idea of working with him again. He had found the job through an internet recruitment agency, which was how most of those delivery jobs were advertised. The Cygnet was a shabby old ex-naval patrol ship from the 1970s, once under the command of the Princess Royal?s husband, Commander Tim Laurence, and the Navy had been trying to offload it for three years. She was basically a gun ship, although the guns were removed. At 42 metres long and weighing 240 tons, she was easily the biggest boat I had ever delivered. At the time she was valued at £120,000. She had been sitting in dock in Southampton and someone had finally shown an interest in buying her.When Matt and I went over to look at her we could see that she was in a pretty bad shape, but we were confident she would be able to make the journey if we nursed the old engines along carefully enough. I was nervous at the thought of being the only engineer on the trip ? it would obviously be down to my skills as to whether or not she was going to make it, but it seemed like a challenge and an adventure too exciting to miss. We met the broker who was selling her on behalf of the Royal Navy and he showed us around, telling me of some of her little quirks. It was obvious that several things had to be done on the boat before we could leave harbour after being laid up so long, but they didn?t seem beyond our capabilities.We were introduced to the businessman who was buying the boat from the broker. He told us he was Spanish and was planning to repaint the Cygnet white and use it as a pleasure cruiser. ?So why Morocco?? we asked. ?Because the labour is cheap and we can refit her there.? It doesn?t matter what colour you paint her, I thought, she?s still going to look like a knackered-out old gun ship. But although it seemed a strange choice of vessel for pleasure cruising, it was not my job to criticise. You hear a lot of hare-brained schemes in the boating world so there was no reason not to believe that he was sincere in his plans. I had listened to enough sailors? stories over the years to know that Morocco could be a bit of a dodgy country when it came to smuggling. Because of its geographical location ? midway between the cocaine-producing countries in the Middle East and the consumers in Europe ? it often found itself included on the itineraries of criminals like drugs and arms dealers. But I had never been there myself and had no more than anecdotal evidence.
We didn?t think there was anything dishonest about the deal since the sale was being made by the British government through a yacht broker. The Royal Navy wouldn?t be selling the boat to anyone they thought was a criminal, would they? All the arrangements were very friendly and casual. We didn?t even think to have contracts drawn up since we weren?t going to be paid a great deal of money. The sort of businessmen who buy boats like this on a whim can usually pay people like me out of their back pockets. It simply isn?t worth the bother trying to cheat us. Just as a matter of course, we gave the boat a thorough search from top to bottom ? partly to make sure she was sea-worthy and not storing up any nasty little surprises that would come to light in the middle of the ocean and partly to ensure there was nothing hidden that we might be accused of exporting from England or importing to Morocco.