From the death penalty to freedom: the intrigue of the arrested manager - International Lawyers Associates

From the death penalty to freedom: the intrigue of the arrested manager

Francis Bartram Brown, consultor de Eni en San Donato Milanese, fue acusado de fraude por Bahrein. Luego el mensaje: «Libérenlo»

An urgent message sent by the Bahraini Interpol to its Italian counterparts. A very long protocol number it begins with MI-123-U-B-31. And just two lines of text: "The subject is no longer wanted and must return to freedom". The message is dated 24th July. When he, the "token," had already been in jail for eighteen days.

«The subject is no longer wanted and must return to freedom»
An urgent message sent by the Interpol of Bahrain to its Italian counterparts. A very long protocol number, which begins with MI-123-UB-31. And only two lines of text: "The subject is no longer sought and must return to freedom." The message is dated July 24. When he, the "subject", had been in jail for eighteen days.

The risk of dying

And yet, in the frighteningly adventurous summer of an English manager, the 47 year-old Francis Bartram Brown, consultant of Eni of San Donato Milanese, it was not the prison, although he was innocent, that distressed him. It was the prospect. After his arrest by the Ostuni police on Saturday 6th July, when he was on holiday in an exclusive resort in the Itria Valley, he left the Brindisi prison and was extradited to Bahrain, a country that had issued an international arrest warrant against him and where the death penalty and prison conditions that violate human rights remain in force. For the non-existent crime of which Bartram Brown was accused, a multi-million dollar scam after handling a huge, phantom cargo of sand and pocketing the money, they do not give discounts there.

Now that he is free again, as the Lecce Public Prosecutor's Office has ordered his release, the consultant is trying to understand why he ended up in this (international) case. He cannot give himself an answer.

The diplomatic war

Perhaps there has been an exchange of persons. Perhaps he has become an unwitting pawn in a large-scale game of diplomatic (and other) plots in the Arab world. Perhaps, in order to promote retaliation against London, Bahrain decided to send a signal by dragging the 47-year-old into the depths and had one of its "public prosecutors" sign an order to locate Bartram Brown and capture him: the search, at a certain point, had become a matter of State, that man had to be tracked down, wherever and whatever the cost. The person concerned, through his lawyer, Alexandro Maria Tirelli, believes that he was 'at the centre of a plot hatched by people close to the Bahraini royal family'. The consultant then hypothesizes that the fierce clash between Shiites and Sunnis may have had some connection with his vicissitudes, but there are no clear elements either, always with a link to a presumed or presumable external "action" by Great Britain. The fact is that the last and definitive measures dictate the law: from the Interpol list of red codes, dedicated to the most dangerous fugitives in the world, there is no trace of Bartram Brown. All right. But will it be sufficient to compensate him?

Doubts and appeals

Mr. Tirelli had presented an immediate appeal, and even ignoring the evaluations of the competent judges of the case, it seems logical to assume more than one doubt. In the measure with which Bahrain invoked the capture of the manager, there was a lack of detail. A peremptory bare note, in the conviction that no additions were necessary. No one discusses the eventual responsibilities of the Italian police forces, who 'executed' and brought the matter to the magistrates' desk; but investigative sources of the Corriere affirm that both at a 'high' level, in Interpol, and at a 'low' level, among the same people who physically blocked Bartram Brown, there was a 'conviction' that the general starting point was weak. It is enough to have a quick look at the reports on the conditions of prisons and justice: testimonies of detainees in Bahrain of beatings, torture, forced fasting, with the aim of confessing to crimes they did not commit. Not to mention, of course, capital punishment. Specialised in the maritime field, with a high level of expertise in the management of oil platforms, the consultant has decided to stay in Italy. He has holidays to go on, if not back to Val d'Itria, in a flat in Campania, where in the initial phase the lawyer, as unaware as the client of the story in its complexity, hoped to put him under house arrest. Waiting to understand if Bartram Brown had a second life, if he was an enormous spy-story character or, simply and precisely, a professional in flip-flops who kept to himself, on holiday.

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    • Rogelio Alvarez
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    Summary

    Waiting to see if Bartram Brown had a second life, in short, if he was a great character in the spy story or, simply and precisely, a flip flop professional who was alone, on vacation.

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