In bygone ages wars have been started over less. The fact that Sudan has escalated this incident is of great regret. I heard a Sudanese diplomat on 5 Live yesterday saying we have to let the Sudanese legal process take its course and that the Sudanese government has no power to intervene. Stuff and nonsense. The fact that Mrs Gibbons was charged in the first place looks to me like a political act in itself. The charges took place after the Sudanese legal authorities had briefed that she was about to be freed. What changed? I suspect it was a political intervention to put pressure on the British government to back off over Darfur.
David Milband has called in the Sudanese Ambassador (two days too late) and far from giving him the diplomatic equivalent of cauliflower ear, he is merely seeking to establish the facts. Er, I think we know the facts. A British subject has been arrested on trumped up charges which not even devout muslims think should stick. She was in the country doing good - not to insult anyone. If this court finds her guilty and doles out the barbaric punishment of 40 lashes it is something which ought to have severe political consequences for Sudan.