father of three who was held in an Iraqi prison over an unpaid debt has returned to Scotland.
Brian Glendinning, 43, arrived at Edinburgh airport on Saturday after being held in a prison in Iraq.
He had worked in an oil refinery there, but was arrested on September 12 at Baghdad airport for an alleged debt to the National Bank of Qatar.
He was met by his mother, Meta; his wife, Kimberly; daughters Heidi and Lexi; and his brothers John and Lee in Edinburgh after returning to Scotland on a flight from Istanbul.
Speaking to reporters at the airport, Mr Glendinning said: “I just didn’t think this time would come any time soon.”
The construction worker added that he was now “back where I belong with my family and my friends”.
Mr Glendinning continued: “It’s just the emotions. I didn’t think I’d be here soon.”
He thanked everyone who had supported him and worked to get him released, including Radha Stirling, founder of the Interpol and Extradition Reform (IPEX) initiative, and Douglas Chapman, the Member of Parliament for Dunfermline and West Fife, who is also on the airport was to greet him.
“Without the support of everyone back home, my family and my friends, Douglas Chapman, Radha Stirling, I would still be here,” said Glendinning.
“Honestly, I think I would have been on my way to Qatar and not for the World Cup.”
He was unable to shave during his time in prison – while his brother John said there had only been one communal shaver in the prison, where Mr Glendinning had been held in “vicious” conditions.
And Mr. Glendinning quipped, “It’s just time to go home and get a haircut.”
Prior to his arrival, wife Kimberly said he “couldn’t wait to get home and see us all”.
She added that he missed her 40th birthday behind bars, but added that he returned “that’s my birthday and Christmas all in one”.
She waited at the airport with Heidi, 16, and Lexi, 12, and other members of the family.
Meta, 67, said she was “ecstatic” and “overwhelmed” at her son’s return.
“I’m over the moon,” she said.
“I lived in fear for nine weeks, utter fear.”
Older brother Lee Glendinning, 48, admitted: “I didn’t think I’d see him at home. If I’m being honest, I didn’t think I’d see my brother again.”
Speaking of Mr Glendinning’s time in prison, he added: “He was with the Taliban, he was with the killers and owed £4,000.
“But the fact that he’s out now is great.”
Speaking of his release, Ms Stirling said: “This is the moment we have been working towards for the past five weeks and we are incredibly relieved to see him back on British soil.
“Brian is going to take some time to rest and recover with his family before telling the world about the horrific experience he endured at the hands of Qatar, a country that has spent a fortune portraying itself as a tolerant society.
“Once Brian is reassured, we intend to push for UK security measures and hold Qatar accountable for the repeated abuses of our citizens.”