JANUARY 8, 2014 — Indian authorities in the state of Tamil Nadhu continue to detain the 35 crew and security guards who were aboard the Seaman Guard Ohio which was seized October 12, 2013 on arms charges.
The Seaman Guard Ohio is used by U.S.-based maritime security firm AdvanFort International as an accommodation platform for counter-piracy guards between transits on client commercial vessels transiting the High Risk Area in the Indian Ocean.
The 35 had been granted provisional bail December 26 on the grounds that charges had not been filed within 60 days of their formal arrest on October 18. However, their provisional bail was stayed on December 28, the Times of India reports, when the Q branch police investigating the case filed a review petition with the principal sessions court.
"The sessions court heard the review petition on Tuesday and public prosecutor, Chandrasekar argued that the magistrate court granted the bail under 167 (2) (1) of Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPc) for not filing the charge-sheet within 60 days," reports the Times of India. "However, the case is trialled under Indian Arms Act 251 (1) (A) deeming 10 years of prison wherein the charge-sheet can be filed within 90 days. In such case, there are still days left to file the charge-sheet, he argued."
A 2,158-page charge sheet against 45 accused, including guards, crew and diesel suppliers, was filed December 30, says the newspaper.