Chennai Six to receive judgement next week, says sister of man jailed in India

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The trial of the so-called Chennai Six has now ended but the British men face another week before receiving a judgement, according to the family of one of the accused.

Loved ones of the ex-soldiers currently in prison in Chennai, India, have been campaigning for their release since they were arrested in October 2013.

The six, who a British lawyer says are victims of a miscarriage of justice, were first jailed on weapons charges while working as security guards on ships to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.

Their latest appeal finished on Monday in a hearing which saw the captain of the vessel Dudnyk Valentyn, of Ukraine, repatriated.

The six are now set to receive a judgement on Monday, November 27.

Lisa Dunn, sister of 31-year-old Nick Dunn, from Ashington, Northumberland, said: “Fingers crossed this is it. If it goes in our favour we hope that the Indian Government will right the wrongs that they got in the first place. We don’t want a repeat of what we got in 2014.

“The Indian Government has already agreed that the captain should be repatriated. That’s good news for him and his family and it just shows that the government are considerate and compassionate about the case. This is hopefully positive for the rest of the case.”

The five other men are Billy Irving, 37, of Oban, Scotland, John Armstrong, 30, of Wigton, Cumbria, Nicholas Simpson, 47, of Catterick, North Yorkshire; Ray Tindall, 42, of Chester; Paul Towers, 54, originally from Bootle, but living in Pocklington, East Yorkshire.

Earlier this year Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UK would ”leave no stone unturned” in securing their release.

In 2013 the Indian coastguard boarded their vessel, the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, and arrested them for taking weapons into India’s territorial waters.

The charges were initially quashed when the men argued the weapons were lawfully held for anti-piracy purposes and their paperwork, issued by the UK Government, was in order.

But a lower court reinstated the prosecution and they were convicted in January last year and sentenced to five years jail.

Since then there has been a series of appeals as the families navigate the Indian legal system.

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