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Saudis confirm missing Canadian is held
Dubai, 3rd Apr 2001

  Saudi Arabia has confirmed it has arrested a Canadian man reported missing in the kingdom, Canada's embassy in the Saudi capital Riyadh said yesterday. "We have received acknowledgement from Saudi officials that he was arrested on March 16," Yves Duval, third secretary at the embassy, told Reuters by telephone.

"The Canadian ambassador met the Saudi deputy interior minister last week and consular access was discussed," said Duval, adding it was not clear when Canadian diplomats would be allowed to meet the man. Duval declined to identify the man, who lived and worked in Riyadh, or say what charges he might face. The man's family reported him missing last month.

A Saudi newspaper report last week appeared to link the Canadian to a bomb blast in Riyadh on March 15, which injured a Briton and an Egyptian. It was not clear if the March bombing was linked to three other blasts late last year, two in Riyadh and one in eastern Saudi Arabia, which killed one Briton and injured several other people.

Another Canadian citizen, William Sampson, as well as a Briton and a Belgian were shown on Saudi state television in February confessing to involvement in last year's Riyadh bombings. They could face execution if convicted. The three did not give a motive, but said they had received orders to carry out the bombings. They did not say who gave the orders. Some Saudi newspapers have linked last year's Riyadh blasts to illegal activities, including trading in alcohol, which is banned in the kingdom.

Source: Gulf News©

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