Briton freed from Afghan jail talks of relief

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The Independent Online

A former British Army officer freed from an Afghan jail after being cleared of bribery spoke of his joy today at being back on British soil.

Bill Shaw, 52, from Leeds, who was working in Afghanistan for British security firm G4S, was jailed for two years in March and fined £16,000 after being found guilty of bribing officials.

But the father-of-three was acquitted earlier this month following an appeal in the Afghan capital Kabul and recently returned to the UK.

Speaking on GMTV, he said: "It feels absolutely fantastic to be back on British soil at long last."

Mr Shaw's family always claimed his original trial was a "sham", insisting the charges against him were "totally misconceived" and "not proven".

During the trial, Mr Shaw said he paid for the release of two impounded armoured vehicles belonging to G4S.

He explained that he believed he was paying a legitimate fine which was fully documented and approved in accordance with his company's procedures.

He insisted he had not offered a bribe at any time.

Mr Shaw, who served for 28 years with the Royal Military Police and was awarded the MBE, was kept in solitary confinement during his sentence.