Nottingham

Andy Neal: Ex-soldier held in Dubai over drugs to be released

Andy Neal Image copyright Detained in Dubai
Image caption Andy Neal moved to Dubai with his wife and two young children in 2015

A British war veteran and father-of-two, who has been in a Dubai jail for more than a year over drugs claims, is set to be released.

Andy Neal, 44, from Nottingham, who served in the Army for 24 years, denied the allegations following his arrest and imprisonment in October 2018.

His mother Sue Neal said she was "emotionally drained" but delighted her son is to be freed.

The Foreign Office said it was pleased Mr Neal could reunite with his family.

Mr Neal, who was a corporal and a dog handler with tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Ireland, moved to Dubai with his wife and two young children in 2015, where he ran a dog training business.

Image copyright Detained in Dubai
Image caption Andy Neal with his wife and two children

Mrs Neal said her husband Maurice "virtually collapsed" when we heard the news of her son's release.

"We are stunned because we were expecting the worst," she added.

Mr Neal said: "We don't know when the release date will be. It could be tomorrow, it could be seven to 10 days from now.

"Our daughter-in-law said she was shaking with terror when she got the phone call. It's a massive relief."

Image copyright Detained in Dubai
Image caption Mr Neal served as a corporal from 1991 to 2009 and then with the Royal Army Veterinary Corps as a dog handler, with tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia and Ireland

A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokeswoman said: "We are pleased Mr Neal will now be able to reunite with his family.

"Our staff continue to offer advice and support to them, and remain in close contact with his legal team and the UAE authorities."

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