Step-dad of East Lothian man held over cannabis grinder suffers a heart attack in Greece

The step-father of an East Lothian man detained in a Greek prison in an international legal wrangle over a cannabis grinder is recovering in hospital after suffering a heart attack.
Conor Howard, the 27-year-old project manager from Tranent.Conor Howard, the 27-year-old project manager from Tranent.
Conor Howard, the 27-year-old project manager from Tranent.

Robert Young was rushed from his home in Corfu to hospital before being transferred to the capital, Athens, for specialist treatment.

It is understood that the stress of seeing his step-son, Conor Howard, held in a Greek jail and facing possible extradition to Qatar, took a toll on Mr Young’s health.

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However, he is said to be making good progress in hospital and is expected to be released within days.

Mr Young was taken ill less than a fortnight after project manager Conor, from Tranent, East Lothian, was freed by a Greek court. He still faces possible extradition at another hearing next month.

Radha Stirling, CEO of campaign group Detained in Dubai, who is representing the family, took to Facebook to let her followers and Conor’s supporters know about Robert being taken ill.

She posted: “Our thoughts and prayers are with Conor Howard’s family.

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"Sadly, with all of the undue stress of the past six weeks over Conor’s arrest in Greece & extradition proceedings, Robert has suffered a heart attack and was transferred from Corfu to Athens.”

The post added: “Robert has been an amazingly strong person and a pleasure for me to work with. I am sure he will recover well and I will keep you posted. In the mean time, please keep the Howard family in your thoughts.”

Conor was detained in Qatar last October on his way back to the UK from Australia when he was found with the grinder - which he said he had bought for a pal as a laugh.

He spent six hours in a cell before returning home, and thought no more of his brush with Middle Eastern authorities.

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But Conor was unaware he had been placed on an international most wanted list and was arrested in Corfu after arriving to join his Robert and his mum, Adele, on holiday earlier this month.

Conor was granted bail on September 24 but can't return to Scotland and still risks being extradited and serving a year behind bars in the Gulf state.

.Following the court case, on September 25, Robert revealed: "Conor said when he heard the ruling, 'Thank **** that's over.' Then we got to give him a hug in the court and we all burst into tears."

At the time of the court hearing, Ms Stirling said: "He shouldn't have been locked up in the first place.

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Conor’s case has been taken up by East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill,who has called on the Foreign Secretary, Dominic Raab.

Mr McAskill said. "I appreciate that there are sensitivities because we're dealing with the Qatar government, but I do think we have to push harder and faster, which is why I'm seeking a meeting with Dominic Raab the Foreign Secretary.

"It's Qatar that's issued this warrant and it's Qatar that's got to solve this problem.”

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