AdvanFort men to come home?

Hopes India will finally release guards.

Family of Nick Dunn hopes Indian court will allow him home

The family of a British man stuck in India, despite being cleared of weapons charges, hope a court hearing will finally allow him to return home.

Nick Dunn, 28, from Northumberland, was one of six Britons accused of illegally possessing weapons while working on a ship providing anti-piracy protection.

They were arrested in October 2013, but despite the charges being quashed, a police appeal has blocked their return.

India’s Supreme Court is due to consider their case on Friday.

Along with Mr Dunn, the men arrested on 12 October 2013 are:

  • Billy Irving, from Connel, Argyll
  • Ray Tindall, from Chester
  • Paul Towers, from Pocklington, North Yorkshire
  • John Armstrong, from Wigton, Cumbria
  • Nicholas Simpson, from Catterick, North Yorkshire

Mr Dunn, who is living in a hostel on the outskirts of Chennai, formally Madras, said he was “anxious” ahead of the court hearing, which will presided over by a judge.

The 28-year-old, from Ashington, said: “I’m just hoping that we get the decision we so justly deserve.”

Mr Dunn is staying with two Estonians who were also part of the crew of the private US-owned ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio.

Mr Dunn’s sister Lisa, said: “We feel this Supreme Court hearing is the biggest one so far and this is really going to be a huge day for us.

“We are hoping that the judge will finally dismiss the appeal that the police have made to keep them in India and that they can just come home.”

Andrew Linnington, of the maritime union Nautilus International, which has been lobbying the UK government on behalf of the crew members, said he feared the six men were being made examples of.

He said: “The Indian authorities want to set a deterrent to operators of similar vessels to the one these six men were working on. Just about every element of this case has been disputed.”

A UK Foreign Office spokesman said: “We appreciate that this continues to be a very difficult time for these men and their families and we are committed to keeping them up to date on the latest developments.”

He said the prime minister had discussed their case with the with Indian Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Indian High Commissioner Ranjan Mathai on 14 March.

“We have lobbied regularly on the importance of ensuring that this case is resolved as quickly as possible,” he said.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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