Even after Manmohan Singh's assurance, no sign of Sunil James' release from Togo jail

Friday, 13 December 2013 - 7:26am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

Wife of sailor jailed in Togo Aditi James had pinned her hopes on the PM’s assurance. After Manmohan Singh said the government is doing its best to bring back her husband, Captain Sunil James, she thought he would be by her side on Thursday, which marked their dead son’s first birthday. However, thirty-one-year-old Aditi’s wait has just got longer and uncertain.

“Today, Vivaan would be a year old. It is a very sad day for the family. However, we have no choice but to wait,” said Rakesh Madappa, Aditi’s brother-in-law.

The court hearings in Togo are over and now the file is with the public prosecutor. “The hearings have concluded but we have no idea how long it is going to take for them to arrive at a decision,” said Madappa. According to his understanding of the judicial process in Togo, the judge will investigate the matter and make recommendations or a ruling which will be presented to the public prosecutor before a decision is made.

Sunil and two others have been under arrest in Togo since July 2013 on the charge of aiding pirates loot the Marshall Islands’ MT Ocean Centurion. His family had approached the Togo government to let him travel to India for his son’s funeral, but there has been no respite yet.

Sunil and Aditi’s son Vivaan died on December 2 due to septicaemia and the body has been lying in Cooper Hospital morgue ever since. “I do not have the courage to go and visit Vivaan but others in the family are making sure that things at the hospital are fine,” said Aditi.

The only communication that reached the family on Thursday was that work is in progress. “We have been talking to Javed Ashraf, deputy secretary of the PMO, who has told us that the ambassador to Ghana is in Togo right now working on our problem through the ministry of justice and law. Now, it is prayer for tomorrow,” said Madappa.

The family is worried that if a decision isn’t made on Friday, it will be pushed by two days due to the weekend.

Indian officials are equally uncertain. “Another officer has taken over and I have returned to Accra.

However, we don’t have any update on the case yet,” Satish Sakleshpur, second secretary at the Indian High Commission in Accra, Ghana, told dna on Thursday evening.

Case recap
Capt Sunil James & two others have been under arrest in Togo since July on the charge of aiding pirates loot the Marshall Islands’ MT Ocean Centurion. His family had approached the Togo government to let him travel to India for his son’s funeral, but there has been no respite yet


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