British cyclist dies after being 'deliberately rammed' in Saudi Arabia

Finger pointed at local youths who targeted riders

A British man cycling with a group of friends near Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, died after a car apparently rammed them deliberately.

John Currie, a BAE Systems human resources worker from Chester, was with a group of four riders who started being cut up by local youths in two cars.

Initially, it is understood that one of the cars clipped a cyclist causing him to fall off his bike. Then, however, one of the drivers is alleged to have turned around and deliberately ploughed his car into the cyclists.

According to the Telegraph, Mr Currie, 54, is said to have been smashed against the vehicle's windscreen in the incident, and later died from his serious injuries. His widow, Pauline, was returning to Britain this weekend.

The couple are believed to have two grown-up children. Mr Currie's body will be flown home for a funeral service.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office confirmed the death on Saturday. A spokesman said: "A British national, John Currie, died in a road traffic accident on Feb 25 and we were informed. We have offered consular assistance to the family." Sources at the FCO said it would be for the Saudi authorities to determine if there was a "guilty party" involved in the incident.

BAE has also confirmed Mr Currie's death. The company employs 4,500 staff in Saudi Arabia, including around 2,000 Britons.

A company spokesman said: "We can confirm that John Currie was a BAE Systems employee who worked for the HR team in Saudi Arabia and was involved in a road accident last week. Our thoughts and feelings are with his family and friends. The Saudi authorities are now investigating the case and it would be inappropriate for BAE Systems to comment any further."

Company sources say that the arrest of an individual in such circumstances would not necessarily mean that criminal charges will follow. "Under Sharia law – the Muslim law – the driver is arrested even if it is an accident," said one source. "Under Sharia law too, he may have to pay a certain amount [to the family of the victim] depending on whose fault it was."

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