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Nurses in court today.

The trial of two British nurses accused of murdering a colleague in Saudi Arabia resumes today

Lucy McLauchlan, 31, from Dundee and Deborah Parry, 38, are charged with killing Australian nurse Yvonne Gilford in Dahran.

The trial was adjourned last week to give lawyers time to prove that the victim's brother, Frank Gilford, was her legal heir.

Under Islamic law, he may be able to call for the execution of the nurses

if they are convicted.

A source said yesterday that Gilford and his mother have documentation that proves they are Yvonne's heirs.

But lawyers for McLauchlan and Parry claim he has no right to

call for them to be executed because he is not named in his sister's will.

Islamic law also allows for the victim's family to be paid "blood money" as an alternative sentence.

But Mr Gilford has said he favours the death penalty.

Yvonne Gilford, 55, was found stabbed 13 times, bludgeoned and suffocated.

The two accused have maintained their innocence and claim they were forced into making confessions.

The trial, in the eastern city of al-Khobar, has been adjourned once before to allow the Gilford family time to consider a pre-verdict settlement which would spare the nurses' lives.

The families of McLauchlan and Parry will be told of the outcome of today's hearing by the Foreign Office.

All journalists have been banned from attending the trial.
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 23, 1997
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