MEP raises Nick’s case in Parliament

Nick Dunn.
Nick Dunn.

The plight of imprisoned sailor Nick Dunn has been raised in the European Parliament.

Last Thursday, UKIP MEP Jonathan Arnott called on the Indian government to review the case and free Nick and his fellow sailors.

Nick, 29, from Ashington, was sentenced to five years in prison earlier this month, along with five other British ex-soldiers.

Nick, a former paratrooper, was working for US maritime company AdvanFort to provide anti-piracy protection when their ship was detained by Indian authorities in October 2013 and they were charged with illegally possessing weapons.

Speaking in Strasbourg, Mr Arnott expressed his respect for the Indian people and the Indian government and said he recognised it was a “difficult and unusual situation which gave rise to the current case”.

He added: “I recognise that the Indian government has legitimate concerns over illegally-held held weapons and understand their reasonably-held worries about similar armaments since the events in Mumbai in 2008.

“But as far as I can see, the British citizens – including Nick Dunn from Ashington in my constituency – also had a reasonable belief.

“They believed that they were acting in accordance with the law.

“They believed that they – working for an American company – were fighting against piracy not doing anything contrary to the best interests of India. Nor did they even necessarily know that the weapons were illegal.”

“In such a case, I wonder whether their continued imprisonment really serves any public interest.

“I therefore call upon the Indian government to review these cases, and to free those British, Italian and Estonian citizens who have been caught up in a situation not of their own making.”