Daily Mirror: The one thing that should give Ken Bigley hope is that he is worth more alive than dead. This thought gave me a straw to clutch at in prison in Iran.
The governor of Evin jail, a decent man, told me the court had sentenced me to death - plus 10 years. Daily Mirror

By Roger Cooper

THE one thing that should give Ken Bigley hope is that he is worth more alive than dead. This thought gave me a straw to clutch at in prison in Iran.

The governor of Evin jail, a decent man, told me the court had sentenced me to death - plus 10 years.

My legs turned to jelly, but I asked him which would be carried out first. He promised to put a note in my file that I must serve the jail sentence first. Some of my jailers were friendly young men, but there were sadistic ones too. One numbskull said if the order ever came to free me he would hang me in my cell and make it look like suicide.

When I'd been to court to have my sentence confirmed, one of the guards drew his pistol and said he was going to shoot me and say I'd tried to jump out of the prison van. "How could I do that when I'm handcuffed like this?'' I asked. "Don't be stupid,'' he said, "I'll take the handcuffs off afterwards.''

So I looked down the barrel as he pulled the trigger, to make sure he wouldn't be believed. The pistol was empty or the safety catch was on.

The worst of being under a death sentence is thinking of the method of execution. My first day in Evin I heard a firing squad, but later hanging was introduced. To me that was worse. But nothing can compare with the way Ken's captors behead victims.

The question remains: Should Tony Blair lift a finger to help Ken Bigley? I believe he could and should.

I wouldn't object if £1million were spent on securing his release. Public hand-wringing won't achieve a thing.

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