AUSTRALIAN TO BE DEPORTED FROM SAUDI ARABIA

12 Jul 2013 11:19

MELBOURNE, July 8 (Bernama) -- The Perth-based family of a man jailed in Saudi Arabia on terrorism offences say his younger brother, who has been in hiding, could be deported to Australia within a week, the Australian Associated Press (AAP) reports.

Junaid Thorne, 23, whose mother is Singapore-born Malay, has been in hiding since being detained twice for protesting the imprisonment of his older brother Shayden, who was found with a laptop containing terrorism-related material.

Shayden had claimed innocence, saying he had borrowed the computer and had no knowledge of its contents, but was tortured into confessing.

In May, he was sentenced to four and a half years in jail, but his lawyer is working on an appeal.

Junaid, whose father is Australian Aboriginal, was sought for questioning by local authorities and feared to come forward but has now turned himself in.

His aunt Stephanie Riley told AAP he was being detained in a police station awaiting finalisation of deportation arrangements.

The local authorities had promised to return his passport on Sunday but if they did not, the Australian embassy in Riyadh would issue him an emergency passport, she said.

Riley said the family was cautiously optimistic Junaid could be back in Perth within a week.

"We're hoping in the next two days, we'll know when he'll be coming home," she told AAP.

The brothers, both Australian citizens, have lived in Saudi Arabia since 1996 when their mother returned to Perth after separating from their father.

--BERNAMA

NDC EE