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  1. ITV Report

Possible new appeal for six UK seamen jailed in India

One of the six men, John Armstrong, from Wigton Photo: Family photo

Six British seamen, including one from Cumbria, who have been detained in India since 2013 could be given new appeal hearings.

That's according to the sister of one of the men currently detained.

Joanne Thomlinson, sister of John Armstrong - from Wigton, Cumbria, said:

The judge who heard the original appeal has now stepped aside in open court from the case.

The appeal will now need to be reheard.

The judge was under increasing pressure to deliver a verdict and said the issues involved were too complicated for him.

The case will now be heard by a new judge."

– Joanne Thomlinson

All had been working for US maritime company AdvanFort providing anti-piracy protection when their ship, MV Seaman Guard Ohio, was detained and weapons found.

They were arrested in October 2013 on illegal weapons charges.

The charges were dropped in the following months, but an appeal followed from the Indian authorities and in 2016 they were convicted and sentenced to five years in jail.

The men have always protested their innocence and appealed against the charges, maintaining they held appropriate licences for the weapons.