An appeal hearing for six Britons who have been imprisoned in India since 2013 has ended, but they must wait a week before receiving a judgement. Families of the ex-soldiers, who have been in prison in Chennai, India, have been campaigning for their release since their arrests four years ago.The men were jailed on weapons charges while working as guards on ships to combat piracy in the Indian Ocean.The so-called Chennai Six are now set to receive a judgement on 27 November.They have always denied the charges and their families have campaigned to get them released after they were sentenced to five years in jail. The men, who were working on the anti-piracy ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio, are:Nick Dunn, from Ashington, Northumberland
Billy Irving, from Connel, Argyll
Ray Tindall, from Chester
Paul Towers, from Pocklington, East Yorkshire
John Armstrong, from Wigton, Cumbria
Nicholas Simpson, from Catterick, North Yorkshire
Lisa Dunn, sister of 31-year-old Nick Dunn 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.”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 they are considerate and compassionate about the case. “This is hopefully positive for the rest of the case.”Earlier this year Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said the UK would “leave no stone unturned” in securing their release.Initially charges against the men were quashed when they argued that the weapons found 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. Since then there has been a series of appeals as the families navigate the Indian legal system.
Source: BBC Cumbria