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Lawyers for one of Britain's most flamboyant and famous thieves have sought freedom for the ailing prisoner on compassionate grounds.
The action came on Monday, a day after Great Train Robber Ronnie Biggs's 75th birthday.
"I regard my father as a political prisoner," his son Michael said after the appeal was launched at London's High Court.
"Terrorists and paedophiles get better treatment."
Biggs, who cannot eat or speak properly after several strokes, is in the hospital wing of London's top security Belmarsh prison, where he is serving the remainder of a 30-year sentence given in 1964 for one of the most notorious heists.
He and 11 other gang members robbed a Glasgow-to-London mail train in 1963 and made off with £2.6 million - equivalent to £30 million ($77.7 million) in today's money.
Biggs was caught and sentenced the following year but escaped from Wandsworth prison after just 15 months, fleeing first to Australia and then - as police closed in - to Brazil.
His playboy lifestyle in Brazil turned him into a criminal legend, spawning several films and making heroes out of villains in the eyes of millions around the world.
Biggs returned to Britain and surrendered to police in 2001 after 36 years on the run.
Family and supporters say it is time the authorities have mercy on a man reduced to communicating with a touch-board and eating liquids through a pump-operated feeding tube. If not freed, he should be moved to a lower-security jail, they argue.
"We are most concerned that the high-security conditions to which Mr Biggs is currently subjected, do not comply with the law and are unnecessary given his inability to speak, eat or walk any distance," his lawyer Kristen Bender said.
"The Prison Service is retaliating against a sick, elderly man for an escape nearly 40 years ago, rather than punishing him appropriately and legally for the crime he committed."
Biggs's legal team said the High Court should decide within weeks whether their case warranted a hearing.
"We are always confident, but it's down to the clemency of the Government which always makes us less confident," family friend and spokesman Kevin Crace said.
Biggs has previously appealed directly to the British Government, with no success.
British authorities would not be drawn on the case, beyond saying he was being well looked after.
"We can't discuss individual prisoners," a Home Office spokesman said. "What we can say, however, is that Belmarsh is a centre of medical excellence."
Biggs's son said other prisons had similarly good medical attention without the high security conditions.
"My father represents no threat whatsoever now to society. He should not be in a Category A prison for hardened prisoners. He is a very frail old man," he told Sky news.
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