British man jailed for 37 years for bouncing a cheque in Qatar fears he will never see his family again
A British businessman believes he might never see his family again after being jailed for 37 years for bouncing a cheque in Qatar.
Jonathan Nash will be nearly 80-years-old when he is released from jail.
The 48-year-old from High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is hoping the Emir of Qatar will use his power to release him from prison.
MailOnline reported that during a phonecall from Doha Central Prison Nash told a friend: ‘All my pleas have so far been ignored and I’ve come to the realisation that I may die in prison or be a very old man if I ever do leave this place.
‘What is causing me the most pain is that I may never see my family again. I don’t know who else to turn to, I guess only the generosity of the Emir to intervene personally on my behalf could help.’
Nash has a 17-year-old daughter and 13-year-old son who live in Britain with his ex-wife and who have not seen their dad since 2014.
The businessman has been in jail for three years and has to share a cell with 11 other prisoners.
He was arrested after a cheque he wrote as CEO of Doha construction firm ‘Top House’ bounced due to an ‘internal dispute’ in the company.
His mother Jenny Nash, from Devon, is worried she will never see him again.
She told RT he has been asked to pay £1 million to be released.
She said: ‘We’ve not got that kind of money, unless we win the lottery. We’re not young, my husband and I are both 77. My son has got 37 years, we’re not going to see him again.’
Detained in Dubai, a charity which fights for Britons trapped in prisons across the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, is trying to get the Englishman released from jail.
On Monday the charity delivered a letter to the Qatari Embassy in London appealing directly to the country’s Emir, Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who has the authority to pardon any prisoner on humanitarian grounds.
Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai, has called the justice system ‘a shambles’ in Qatar.
She said: ‘We value and encourage transparency, and we hope that the government of Qatar will understand and embrace this.
‘The British public is shocked by the harshness of the sentence imposed upon Jonathan Nash; and with a background of serious legal irregularities in his case, this has caused concern among UK businesspeople and investors about the advisability of doing business in Qatar, when one can so easily be incarcerated for life over what is essentially an internal dispute within a company.
‘Our intention with this letter is to draw the attention of the emir not only to Jonathan’s plight in particular, but also to the procedural shortcomings which we believe led to his unjust sentence.’