Chester’s MP, Chris Matheson, remains shocked by today’s announcement that Ray Tindall – the former soldier from Chester who was arrested when the anti-piracy ship he was working on allegedly strayed in to Indian waters in 2013 – was sentenced to 5 years in an Indian jail.
Chris Matheson said: “I’m absolutely furious. I can’t believe it. I have been working on this case with Ray since May and I had been led to believe that all of this was going to be sorted. I spoke to Ray just before Christmas. This is not at all what we expected.”
Mr Tindall and five others are accused of illegally possessing weapons. Charges against them were originally quashed but the Indian authorities appealed the decision and won the case following a trial. All of the men have always protested their innocence and they have been stranded in India ever since.
Speaking from Westminster, Mr Matheson said: “The government has encouraged a ‘softly, softly’ approach but enough is enough. We’ve tried the legal route - it didn’t work. Now let’s try the political route!”
Mr Matheson will ask a question in the House of Commons on foreign affairs this week where he plans to put renewed political pressure on senior Government Ministers to do something about this case.