The bail plea of 35 men, including 10 crew members of a detained U.S. ship was dismissed in a local court here on Wednesday. Second Additional District Judge M. Paul Durai said the investigation into the incident was at a preliminary stage.
Earlier in the court, the Judge sought evidence of the vessel’s berthing at Cochin Port in August this year, reliable sources said.
Proceedings in the court lasted for about 30 minutes and the defence counsel argued that the vessel possessed all necessary documents for its operations and the vessel had an ‘innocent passage’, not with an intention of trespassing into Indian waters. According to the defence counsel, the vessel was stranded 19 miles off Tuticorin coast. Moreover, ‘no violation’ certificate for the vessel was given by the Cochin Port on September 9.
Meanwhile, Marcus, an ambassador from Estonian embassy stationed in New Delhi visited the district court here to witness the proceedings.
The crew and guardsmen aboard the ship – ‘Seaman Guard Ohio’ – were detained after the vessel had been allegedly found in illegal possession of weapons and trespassed into Indian waters without permission on October 12.