Six former British soldiers, came to be
known as the ‘Chennai Six’ were among the 35 men who were detained on weapon
charges on October 2013, have been found not guilty on appeal.
A Facebook post said all 35 had been
cleared and their families were “understandably delighted”.
The post said: “The appeal court has
today found all 35 men NOT GUILTY we now wait to hear as and when the men will
be allowed home to their families.
“This may take some time whilst the
authorities decide whether they agree with the outcome or wish to appeal. If
they wish to appeal the men might be released from prison but not allowed back
to the UK.
“But the families are understandable
delighted that finally common sense and justice has prevailed.”
The six men are: Billy Irving, 37, from
Argyll and Bute; Nick Dunn, 31, of Northumberland; John Armstrong, 30, of
Wigton, Cumbria; Nicholas Simpson, 47, of Catterick, North Yorkshire; Ray
Tindall, 42, of Chester; and Paul Towers, 54, of Pocklington, east Yorkshire.
The crew were working for the American company, AdvanFord, an
anti-piracy security company protecting commercial ships off the coast of
Africa in the Indian Ocean, when the MV Seaman Guard Ohio was detained and
weapons found on board.
The company insists that the ship was in fact in international
waters, and was carrying weapons for security purposes.
Familes of the Chennai 6 submitted a petition to Downing Street on 4th
anniversary of their arrest and to this ‘Not Found Guilty’ information, the
Prime Minister’s Official Spokesman said: "The Government, from the Prime Minister down, has
worked hard for over four years to support the men and their families and we
share their happiness at the court's decision to give a full acquittal to each
of the men.
"We are now working
with the Indian authorities to discuss the next steps. We will continue to
offer the men and their families consular assistance for as long as it is