Nova Scotia

Digby fisherman appealing Spanish court conviction

A Digby, N.S. man who a Spanish court found guilty of drug smuggling is appealing that conviction.

Philip Halliday, 56, was convicted of drug smuggling, released on conditions

Both Phillip Halliday and his wife Sheree are happy that he's home. (CBC)

A Digby, N.S. man who a Spanish court found guilty of drug smuggling is appealing that conviction.  

Philip Halliday, 56, was released from a prison in Spain last week after serving time following a cocaine bust onboard a ship on which he was one of seven crew.  

Halliday is back at home after more than three years in a Spanish jail. He said he'll never forget the day he was released.  

"A female guard said 'Libertad, libertad.' Freedom, and my heart started to pound," he said.  

Halliday said he was relieved and very happy to be free. Halliday's wife Sheree was also happy to hear the news. She said she never gave up hope he'd be released.   

It was Halliday's third voyage on the ship where cocaine worth $600 million was found hidden below a bolted trap door.

The captain was sentenced to nine years in prison, the crew were acquitted. Halliday and two others were convicted.   

Halliday said he had no idea the drugs were onboard.  

"I'm a trusting person and I thought these guys were my friends. I didn't think someone would do something like that. I trusted them too much, I guess" he said.  

In Digby, people lined the streets to welcome Halliday home last week.  

The Halliday's Spanish lawyer recommended that he appeal his conviction.  

"Like he said, it doesn't matter to us. But we do have children and hopefully someday they'll have children so it would be nice to clear Phillip's name for them," said Sheree.   

The Halliday's are celebrating their reunion. On Wednesday night, Halliday surprised his wife by suggesting they renew their vows. She said yes.   

Sheree said whether her husband can travel on his passport is not an issue.  

"It really doesn't matter me because he's not going anywhere," she said.

now