A battle to free a detained Ashington sailor has taken a twist after documentation emerged showing they were allowed to carry firearms.
Nick Dunn was among six British sailors making up a crew of 32 arrested by Indian authorities in October 2013 for carrying unlicensed weapons in Indian waters.
After the case was originally thrown out by an Indian High Court, Nick and his colleagues were sentenced to five years in prison earlier this year.
And documentation has emerged showing the British Government had issued weapons licences to the men in 2013.
Nick’s sister Lisa said: “The licences prove that the weapons were in order and that this vital evidence has been completed disregarded and dismissed by the courts.
“This evidence is key because the whole sentence revolves around the prosecution saying the weapons are automatic but these licences clearly state they are semi-automatic, issued prior to the date of arrest and show they are still valid even now.”
“We are desperate to get a court hearing as this clearly proves there is no case to answer. Nick said he could have cried when the Government finally forwarded them onto the men in prison.”
She added: “The judge acknowledged all these documents during the trial, accepting they were genuine yet still dismissed them sentencing them to five years imprisonment.
“We knew the weapons were fully licenced. All it does for me, by physically seeing these, is exacerbate our frustrations and all the other emotions we feel with regards to the guilty verdict that was issued.”