INTRODUCTION: British train robber, Ronald Biggs appealed on Tuesday (14 April) against an extradition order granted the previous week by a Barbados court.
GV Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro
SV/GV Michael Biggs playing in park accompanied by John Pickston (2 shots)
GV John and Lia Pickston, CU John speaking (2 shots)
CU Lia Pickston speaking
GV Reporter John Arden and the Pickstons, John speaking
SV Michael Biggs running along park sidewalk with friends as Pickston continues V/O (2 shots)
CU Letter from Biggs to son Mike, the Pickstons holding letter, Pickston continues speaking (2 shots)
SV Michael Biggs holding package with head through sun-roof of car
SPEECH ON FILM (TRANSCRIPT)
ARDEN: "John, if Ronald Biggs really is extradited to England and goes back to prison, what will you do with the boy? What will be your plan of action?"
SEQ. 3: JOHN PICKSTON: "Well, I still refuse to believe that he would go back. But if he did, then it would be what Ronald would have asked. And at the moment it's for me to look after the little boy until he comes back. But as we're now talking of something....it's not believable, that should he go back, then once again it will be whatever Ronnie decides himself. Then I will do it."
ARDEN: "Lia tell me about this appeal you're making?"
SEQ. 4: LIA PICKSTON: "Yes, I do want to beg to Her Majesty the Queen and to the Prime Minister Mrs. Thatcher, as women, as mothers, to help me to bring the father of this child back to Brazil. I do believe in them, in my heart, that they will understand my ... the reason that I have to ask for them that."
ARDEN: "Why should they give Ronald Biggs a pardon, do you think?"
LIA: As a human person, if it's for his mistakes, if he's paid his price, and now he has a mission in Brazil with his son Michael. And nobody can do this mission as he can. So this is my reason to ask for that to Her Majesty and to Mrs. Thatcher to help me on that."
SEQ. 5: PICKSTON: "Well, I've had one letter from Ronnie since this all started. And it's a letter to his son. It's certainly not to me. But I'd like to read it, if I may. And this will give us, and to the people that don't know this Ron as we know him. And it's just 'My dear, dear Miquinho. I'm sorry I had to leave you without seeing you to tell you and say good-bye. Anyway, it won't be for very long. We'll soon be together again. That, I promise you. You are my very special Miquinho and I love you very dearly. John and Lia and Armin and all our friends will take good care of you. Be good. Study hard at school and think often about your Papai. Write to me and send me photos from time to time. I've seen Armin and am sending you a present. Mil Beijos, guerido filho. Eu te ador. Teu Papai.' And he signed it with three kisses."
REPORTER: JOHN ARDEN
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: INTRODUCTION: British train robber, Ronald Biggs appealed on Tuesday (14 April) against an extradition order granted the previous week by a Barbados court. His lawyers lodged eight grounds of appeal, mainly on the authenticity of the British extradition documents and the legality of the Barbados extradition treaty with the U.K. Biggs was a member of a gang which stopped a Scotland-to-London train in 1963 and robbed it of more than two-and-a-half million pounds sterling (more than six million dollars). After serving only two years of a 30-year sentence in London's Wandsworth prison, he escaped and eventually ended up in Brazil. In mid-March of this year, Biggs was kidnapped in Rio de Janeiro by a group, mostly British, and brought to Barbados aboard a yacht.
SYNOPSIS: For six of the 11 years he lived in Brazil Biggs was safe from extradition because he was the father of a son Michael, born to a Brazilian girlfriend. He had eluded the police in Australia earlier and later a senior Scotland Yard officer left Brazil empty-handed when extradition was denied.
The Brazilian authorities have asked that 52-year-old Biggs be returned to Brazil and that the alleged kidnappers be tried in Rio. Six-year old Michael's mother is a creative dancer in Switzerland. But Ronald Biggs has proved a model father as well as an upright citizen. Now friends Lia and John Pickston are looking after Michael. They told Visnews' John Arden about an appeal for a pardon.
Little Michael's father has received warm popular support from the people of Barbados as well as those in his adopted country.