Cumbrian man held in India set to come home after charges dropped
Last updated at 13:32, Thursday, 10 July 2014
A north Cumbrian former soldier held in India for alleged weapons offences is set to come home.
Charges against John Armstrong, of Wigton and four of the five other British personnel arrested last October have been dropped, it is being reported today.
They were among 35 crew members on board the Seaman Guard Ohio who were arrested last October in connection with the alleged offences.
They spent the first six months following their arrest in a Chennai jail, but – after major campaigning by families and friends of the crew, including the Armstrongs – 33 of the men were eventually released on bail.
The crew had been granted a potential reprieve, after the Indian court agreed to a hearing to have charges against the men quashed.
The boat was an anti-piracy vessel, run by American company Advanfort, and had a number of armed security guards on board – including Mr Armstrong. Indian authorities are alleged to have boarded the boat five times prior to arresting the crew, raising concerns that a heavily-armed ship was in international waters.
#seamanguardohio Arms charges against men are dropped. Captain still facing bunkering charge but should now be bailed.— Stephen Askins (@SteveAskinsInce) July 10, 2014
First published at 13:29, Thursday, 10 July 2014
Published by http://www.newsandstar.co.uk
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