It was great news to hear that Major Bill Shaw MBE (ret'd) was acquitted today. I took up Bill's cause on behalf of the family with the Foreign Office as it did not look like justice had been done in Bill's case. He was arrested back in March after paying a car pound release fee to get his vehicles back from the Afghan authorities who had impounded them. The charge against Bill was that his payment of a release fee was some sort of bribe.
From the outset the case seemed very odd to me. No witnesses were called for the prosecution. Many Afghan experts felt it had more to do with a tit for tat against our previous Government's attacks on the Afghan Government. Whatever the truth, it always seemed to me that justice had not been done and that Bill was the wrong man in the wrong place at the wrong time. Bill is fortunate indeed to have the most supportive and strong family of fighters! I am delighted that the new Foreign Office Ministers have not only transformed relations with the Afghan Government, they also provided strong support to Bill.
Given his distinguished service in the Military Police, his being a rare commission from the ranks ending up a Major, a decorated soldier and honoured with a MBE, there was no doubt in my mind it was right to make the strongest case on Bill's behalf. The bottom line is that he spent most of his life defending us and it was right we should defend him in his hour of need. It is right to protect the liberty of our citizens in foreign climes and to uphold the miitary covenant. I was proud to support Bill's case and am delighted he has now been freed.
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