Indian Judge Blocks Imminent Release of Estonian Pirate Hunters
The 14 Estonian pirate hunters detained in Indian waters in October were freed on bond on Thursday, a spokesman for their US-headquartered employer said. But the report proved premature: a senior judge in Tamil Nadu state intervened on Friday to block the move.
AdvanFort communication director David Yonkman told Delfi that the anti-piracy crew of 35 aboard the Seaman Guard Ohio was released. "Thus it isn't known when the detainees will be released," Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Minna-Liina Lind told uudised.err.ee.
AdvanFort said it paid the bail bond and other costs, including lodging and transport in India, and said it would fight to clear the men's name.
Under the terms of their release, were it to go ahead, the crew members would not be allowed to leave the city of Tuticorin.
The crew members were apprehended on October 12 near the southern tip of India, allegedly having entered territorial waters illegally bearing weapons.