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‘Chennai Six’ found not Guilty; to be freed from Indian jail

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 needed."

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