US ship ‘Seaman Guard Ohio’ was apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard on charges of trespassing into Indian waters and possessing weapons

A local court in Tuticorin on Friday extended the custody of 35 men, including crew members of the detained US ship ‘Seaman Guard Ohio’, until February 25. Judicial Magistrate in Tuticorin C. Kathiravan passed the order after hearing arguments. Amidst tight security, the men including foreign nationals in detention were produced before the court.

The US ship was apprehended by the Indian Coast Guard ship ‘Naikidevi’ on October 12, 2013. The vessel was detained on October 18 on charges of trespassing into Indian waters and possessing weapons. Charge sheet copies were handed over to each of the accused involved in the case. On December 30, 2013, the Q Branch, filed the 2,158-page charge-sheet against 45 accused, including guards, crew and diesel suppliers. In the court room, Siderenko Valeriy, a Ukrainian, the chief engineer of the ship, had swooned. Suddenly, the police, who went on escort, carried him away and he was admitted in an intensive care unit at Tuticorin Government Hospital.

The 108 emergency service van arrived at the scene and transported the Ukrainian to the hospital. Before producing them before the court, the foreign crew was made to wait for about two and half hours in police vehicle on the premises of District Integrated court complex in Tuticorin. J. Silas Jeyamani, Resident Medical Officer of the hospital, when contacted, said condition of the Ukrainian national is stable. Other sources from the hospital said, he would be kept in the ward for one-day observation and discharged later. Earlier, Mr. Valeriy made a suicide attempt in Tuticorin after the arrest. While foreign nationals - including 14 Estonians, six Britons and three Ukrainians, who were lodged in Puzhal Central prison in Chennai reached Tuticorin court around 10. 15 a.m., the 12 Indians lodged in Palayamkottai Central prison, Tirunelveli, entered the court around 11. 30 a.m.

Besides, six men accused of illegally supplying diesel to the detained US ship crew, were also given charge sheet copies.

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