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Families of North East men in Indian jail feel no closer to end result following government meeting

The families of six British men, who are jailed in India for weapons offences, staged a rally in Carlisle this afternoon calling on the government to do more to secure their release.

The former soldiers were sent to prison after courts ruled the armed security ship they were working on was not properly licensed, and had entered Indian waters illegally.

The protestors included relatives of Nick Dunn from Ashington, Nicholas Simpson from Catterick and Paul Towers from Pocklington near York.

Foreign Office Minister, Hugo Swire MP told the families he was unable to promise that they would be home anytime soon:

The legal process in India takes a long time, but I very much hope if they have good legal representation and we get a good result on the appeal that that things will move on.

But I can't promise that anything is doing to happen anytime soon.

– Hugo Swire MP

Nick Dunn's sister Lisa said she was thankful for the meeting but did not feel any closer to getting an end result:

I am grateful and thankful for the meeting and I feel like we've been given reassurance, but whether I feel positive that it's going to bring the case closer to an end result I can't say that I do.

– Lisa Dunn, Nick Dunn's sister

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Families of North East men in Indian jail to meet Foreign Office Ministers

Families of three North East men, who are serving a jail term in India, say they're angry that more isn't being done to secure their release.

The former soldiers were sent to prison, with three others, after courts ruled the armed security ship they were working on was not properly licensed, and had entered Indian waters illegally.

Watch Frances Read's report:

Nick Dunn's sister speaks minutes after India jail visit

On his 30th birthday, a man convicted of weapons offences in India has had the chance to see his sister for the first time in two years.

Nick Dunn is one of the former British soldiers who found out their appeal had been rejected yesterday.

Lisa Dunn spoke to ITV News Tyne Tees moments after visiting her brother in an Indian jail.

"He was so composed, and calm, he really kept it together. He ate a massive piece of cake and we sang Happy Birthday - it was amazing."

"Seeing him after all this time was extremely emotional but it's given me fire in my belly - there's no way he's going to spend the next 5 years in prison - we are all focussed and determined."

"We're meeting with the lawyers at the prison this Thursday to build the case to fight the refused bail - this is giving all the British guys a focus. But it's so hard communicating, getting letters in and out of the prison"

– Lisa Dunn

Former soliders denied bail in India

It's been reported the former soldiers who were sentenced to five years in an Indian prison have been refused bail.

The men - who include Nick Dunn from Ashington, were told the court had rejected their application. They heard yesterday, the day before Nick Dunn turned 30 years old.

The court said the arguments for bail would only be heard during the main appeal hearing, scheduled for June.

From May 1-31 the courts are closed for summer vacation.

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FCO 'cannot interfere' in India's judicial system

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has released a statement following the sentencing of British men in India.

“Our staff in India and the UK have been in close contact with all six men since their arrest to provide support to them and their families, including attending court. Ministers have also raised this case at the highest levels, pressing for delays to be resolved.

"We recognise what a difficult time this is for those involved. There is now a 90 day window to appeal and we will continue to provide consular assistance. However, we cannot interfere in another country’s judicial process.”

– Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Family of Nick Dunn will launch an appeal

The family of Nick Dunn from Ashington say an appeal will be lodged against his five year jail sentence for weapons offences in India. They say they will seek UK government help to allow him to serve out his sentences in Britain. It is understood that Nick Dunn and the other men have already been taken to jail to begin their sentences.

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