Tourist, 27, held in Greek jail for three months after being stopped in Qatar with cannabis grinder says it’s ‘fantastic’ to be back home
- Conor Howard, 27, was stopped with a cannabis grinder in Qatar last October
- The engineer from Scotland went home but was later arrested in Corfu in August
- He won a legal battle against extradition last week and returned home on Sunday
A Scottish tourist who was held in Greek jail for three months after being stopped in Qatar with cannabis grinder says, it’s ‘fantastic’ to be back home.
Conor Howard, 27, from Tranent, East Lothian, was facing extradition to Qatar on drug charges after he was arrested in Corfu in August.
The engineer won a legal battle in a Greek court, the stress of which caused his father to suffer a heart attack, and was finally allowed to return home on Sunday.
Conor Howard, 27, from Tranent, East Lothian, was stopped with a cannabis grinder in Qatar last October while on a stopover flight between Australia – where he had lived for a year – and the UK
He told of his nightmare ordeal and said he was worried he wouldn’t return to Scotland and faced years in a desert prison with a terrible human rights record.
Conor was stopped in Qatar last October while on a stopover flight between Australia – where he had lived for a year – and the UK.
The drug paraphernalia, which had never been used and was bought for a friend ‘for a joke’, was confiscated and Conor was allowed to return home.
However, he was unaware he has been placed on an international most wanted list and was arrested in Corfu on August 29, when he travelled to visit his mother and stepdad.
The engineer went home but was later arrested in Corfu in August on the threat of extradition to Qatar after the Middle Eastern country had issued an international arrest warrant
The Greek authorities informed him of an outstanding international arrest warrant issued by Qatar.
The Gulf state alleged Conor had been in possession of drugs.
Conor was held in a Greek prison and later released on bail, but he wasn’t allowed to leave until his court hearing.
The stress of the distressing ordeal even caused Conor’s dad to have a heart attack.
But on November 4, a Greek court denied the Middle East state’s request to extradite him.
Conor Howard said he had bought the cannabis grinder, which had never been used, as a joke for a friend
Conor, an engineer, arrived home on Sunday and is glad to be back home safe with his family and girlfriend.
‘It’s fantastic,’ he said. ‘I never thought this day would come but it’s finally here.
Mr Howard said it’s ‘fantastic’ to be home saying: ‘There were times – especially when I was in prison – I thought I wasn’t going to get home.’
‘There were times – especially when I was in prison – I thought I wasn’t going to get home.
‘It felt like it was never going to end.
‘Then I had an e-mail from Qatar saying everything is fine the charges are getting dropped.
‘The flight home was not exactly smooth. We got delayed by three hours because of ice on the wing of the plane.
‘Then a fuel tanker actually hit the wing and they had to get engineers out to fix it.
‘It took so long I missed my connecting flight in London and had to stay another day.
‘That one extra day felt like an extra week.
‘There were people who were coming to the airport to meet me on Saturday, but I couldn’t make it.
‘I’ve literally just stepped out of the airport.
‘I’m just going to see my family and spend time with them and my girlfriend.’
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