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India court drops charges against Estonian seamen

  • 2014-07-10
  • From wire reports, TALLINN

A court in India has dropped charges against fourteen Estonian crew members of an anti-piracy ship that allegedly entered Indian waters illegally last year, reports the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

A judge in the Chennai court in India ruled that there are no grounds to accuse the crew members who served on board of the anti-piracy vessel Seaman Guard Ohio of having illegally trafficked weapons. The only person exempt from this ruling is the captain of the ship.

The case comes after Indian coast guard members detained an anti-piracy ship carrying 35 people last year. 

A total of 33 people, including 14 Estonian anti-piracy armed guards, were imprisoned for illegally entering Indian waters as well as several other alleged violations. 

Now, the Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs Urmas Paet expressed his satisfaction with the judgment. “Hopefully it will be clear soon whether this ruling will be appealed,” he said, adding that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is prepared to aid Estonian citizens upon returning home at the earliest possibility.