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US killer to be executed using British drugs

A UK firm supplied the drugs that will be used to execute a convicted murderer in the united States tomorrow, a charity said today.

Dream Pharma is said to have sold the anaesthetic sodium thiopental that will form part of the lethal injection given to Emmanuel Hammond in the US state of Georgia.

The small company is run from the back of the Elgone Driving Agency in Horn Lane, Acton, west London by businessman Mehdi Alavi.

Reprieve UK claims the 50-year-old knew that the drug was being sold for use in executions.

Mr Alavi, who describes his company as an independent pharmaceutical wholesaler, said today that he did not want to comment on the matter.

Earlier this month he said he had "no idea" why a prison in Arizona had ordered the drug, and two other chemicals, from him.

Chemicals supplied by Dream Pharma are thought to have been used in that state last October for the execution of Jeffrey Landrigan, also a convicted murderer.

Clive Stafford Smith, director of Reprieve, asked whether Mr Alavi would sell his drugs if he were to see them used as a lethal injection and added: "It is not too late for Mr Alavi to come forward and help save Mr Emmanuel's life."

Business Secretary Vince Cable banned the export of sodium thiopental in late November after the drug that will be used to kill Hammond was shipped to the US.

Mr Stafford Smith has urged him to also ban the export of two other drugs used for lethal injections.

Sodium thiopental is given as an injection to induce a coma and is followed by pancuronium bromide, which paralyses the muscles, and then potassium chloride, which stops the heart. The US has recently run short of stocks of the three drugs.

Reprieve has called for the British government to intervene in the hope Hammond's execution can be prevented. They said they had also asked Mr Alavi to step in but received no response.

Hammond has been on Death Row for 23 years after being convicted of killing a young woman.

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