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Statement from Michael Biggs made in London

Michael Biggs, the 26 year old son of Ronnie Biggs who has been caring for his father in Brazil, read a short statement today from a hotel in London.

Although the last 72 hours have obviously been extremely stressful and tiring, Michael wanted to make the following statement:

"It is well known that my father escaped from prison and fled the country of his birth 36 years ago.

"In 1997 the Brazilian Supreme Court rejected the UK's request to extradite my father which guaranteed that he could remain a free man in Brazil for the rest of his life.

"However, at the age of 71 and fearing that the end of his life is close, he has chosen to voluntarily return to this country. This decision was contrary to my wishes and neither myself nor his family and friends in Brazil could talk him out of it.

"My father took this decision knowing that he would be arrested and imprisoned.

"Contrary to some press reports, he has not returned to the UK simply to receive health care. Health care was available in Brazil and my father had many friends and supporters who would certainly have contributed to any such expenses.

"He has returned to England to end his days in the country that he still thinks of as home.

"As far as financial payments are concerned any payments made by the press are not for my father's direct benefit. As he knows all too well, he has no need of money now.

"Any payments received will be used to contribute to his retrial and legal expenses. He does not wish to be a burden on the British taxpayer. He is also concerned to make some provision for his family, in particular myself and his grandaughter who he may not see again.

"At a future date his legal team will appeal to the courts and, if necessary, the Home Secretary, to consider whether 28 years imprisonment is, at this stage of his life, an appropriate sentence. My father will, of course, be bound by the decisions of the Judges and the Home Secretary.

"All I ask for, on his behalf, is a fair hearing and a balanced consideration of the true events of the last 35 years of his life. The facts will be placed before the courts in due course.

"I have nothing further to say at this stage other than I love my Dad."

Michael Biggs, May 8th 2001

SOURCE Judy Totton Publicity

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