“If the Indian government does not intervene appropriately and immediately, this is a lost battle”

The family of jailed sailor Sunil James is fast losing hope of his release in time to attend his baby’s cremation.

Mr. James is incarcerated in the African country of Togo since July. His 11-month-old son Vivaan died on December 2 and the family has postponed his cremation, hoping that Mr. James will be freed in time to perform his son’s last rites.

Though court hearings seeking his release concluded last week, the family said it was extremely disheartened to hear of the long road that lay ahead, after speaking to its lawyer on Monday. “The file is currently with the prosecutor who has indicated that he will review it and provide direction by the end of December 17. Our lawyer has indicated that a date for the trial will then be set and it could be December 27,” said Rakesh Madappa, Mr. James’s brother-in-law.

He said the family lawyer had told them that Mr. James had a clean file and may be released unconditionally.

However, only the trial will begin by December 27, the verdict would be given later. “If the Indian government does not intervene appropriately and immediately, this is a lost battle. Vivaan cannot wait that long,” Mr. Madappa said.

While sailing by the coast of West Africa in July 2013, Captain James’s ship was attacked by pirates. After reaching the coast of Togo, he informed the authorities about the incident. However, he and two other crew members were arrested on charges of aiding the pirates.

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