Family and friends of a Speyside man who they believe is being unjustly held in a Mumbai jail were left disappointed on Friday when he failed in a bid to be released on bail.
Former soldier Paul Harrison, 35, was arrested in May after being named by another man who had been arrested on drugs charges. While there was no evidence of drugs at the home he shares with his long-term partner in Siolim, Gola, Mr Harrison has continued to be held purely on the evidence of having been named by Mohammed Akram Sheikh, who it is believed had no prior contact with the former Moray College student.
Paul’s Father, also Paul, and stepmother, Barbara, were hoping for good news when their son appeared for a bail hearing, with close friends having raised just short of £2000 through an online appeal page to help with any costs. However, they had to reveal on a social media page that bail had been refused.
Friends insist that Paul has been ‘fitted up’ but were becoming increasingly concerned on learning that he had been tortured in the notorious Arthur Road jail in Mumbai. His nightmare began when police arrived at his flat in Goa, his stepmother saying: “Five policemen turned up with guns and turned the whole flat over, found nothing but still took him away.
“He was bundled off to Mumbai and they beat the heck out of him to try to get a confession. He has not confessed to anything because he has done nothing wrong.”
A former corporal in the British Army, Mr Harrison took on work as a DJ after his discharge, also running a T-Shirt printing and motorbike business alongside his partner, Tia.
The UK Consulate in Mumbai has been involved with a Foreign Office spokesman saying that they continued to provide consular assistance.
Foreign Office policy for UK Citizens arrested overseas is that they should receive the same treatment as those of all residents in that country.