British grandfather to be flogged in Saudi Arabia for having wine

Karl Andree's family warn he is weak after battling cancer and won't survive the punishment of 350 lashes

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A British man has been sentenced to a public flogging in Saudi Arabia, after police found several bottles of homemade wine in his car last year.

Karl Andree, a 74-year-old grandfather from south London, faces 350 lashes for breaching strict Saudi laws that make possessing or consuming alcohol illegal.

His family has made a direct appeal to the British government, warning that he is already weak having battled cancer several times and that he would not survive the flogging, The Sun reports.

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"There is no doubt in our minds that 350 lashes will kill him," said his son Simon. "We implore David Cameron to personally intervene and help get our father home. The Saudi Government will only listen to him."

Relatives told the newspaper that Andree requires urgent medical treatment for asthma and that his wife is dying of Alzheimer's disease back in the UK.

The oil executive, who has lived and worked in the kingdom for more than 25 years, was sentenced to 12 months in prison and a public flogging after he was caught by police in Jeddah last year. "Until his arrest, he has been happy working there and felt safe," said Simon.

Andree has already served his 12 month sentence, but remains in prison until authorities decide when to carry out the final stage of his punishment.

The Foreign Office says embassy staff are continuing to assist Andree and he is constant contact with his lawyer and family."Minister and senior officials have raised Mr Andree's case with the Saudi government and we are actively seeking his release as soon as possible," it said in a statement.

His punishment comes at a time when British-Saudi relations have come under renewed scrutiny, says The Guardian. Last month Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn raised questions about the UK's links to the Saudi prison service in response to planned execution of Ali Mohammed al-Nimr.

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