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Brexit blamed for hold-up in case of woman 'imprisoned' by Saudi father

A delay in resolving a High Court case about a young woman who claimed she was being imprisoned by her father has been attributed to Brexit.

Amina Al-Jeffery, 21, who grew up in Swansea and has dual British and Saudi Arabian nationality, has complained that her father locked her up in his flat in Jeddah because she had "kissed a guy".

Her father, Saudi academic Mohammed Al-Jeffery, has disputed her allegations and said he was trying to protect her.

In August, Mr Justice Holman said her father had to "permit and facilitate" his daughter's return to England or Wales by September 11, but she has not returned.

The case was adjourned until Friday in the hope that a private face-to-face meeting between Miss Al-Jeffery and her solicitor, Anne-Marie Hutchinson, would get to the bottom of the matter and allow it to be resolved "once and for all".

But the judge was told that the meeting in Jeddah had not taken place because of travel difficulties encountered by Ms Hutchinson.

Her bid to get a visa was thwarted because her Irish passport did not have the required two clear pages side by side and, when she applied for a fresh passport, she was told there was a backlog because of Brexit.

Adjourning the case until February 13, the judge said: "There you have it. The reach of Brexit has even impacted on progress in this case. Who would have foreseen it?

"She needed two pages side by side, an Irish passport and there was a backlog because of Brexit.

"But these things happen and we have to accommodate them."

At a previous hearing, the judge said he had heard that Miss Al-Jeffery's relationship with her father was much improved and some of the restrictions placed upon her had been relaxed.

Miss Al-Jeffery said she now had a mobile phone, a computer and her passports - although her British passport was said to have expired - and she was working as an intern.

She had repeatedly said she wanted the legal proceedings to come to an end as they were hampering the restoration of family relationships.

Lawyers for her father said he had agreed that she could travel in and out of Saudi Arabia at any time although, as a formality, he would require her to ask permission which would always be given.

The judge said he remained concerned about the true scope of Miss Al-Jeffery's freedoms and had not found it easy to decide whether to bring an end to the proceedings - hence the need for the meeting.

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