A Togo court on Tuesday granted the public prosecutor time till Friday to review the investigations relating to Captain Sunil James’ case. While the family is unhappy with the delay, the sailor’s lawyer in Togo assures that with a clean file, a positive decision can be expected by December 27.
“There is no evidence against them and, hence, we are hoping the court will pass a judgment in their favour,” said the sailor’s lawyer, Rustico Lawson-Banku.
However, the family is not pleased with the assurance. “Without meddling with the judicial process, we are just asking them to expedite the matter because we really do not have the time.
After waiting for 16 days already, December 27 is distant,” said Aditi James, Sunil’s wife.
Sunil and two others have been under arrest in Togo since July 2013 on charges of aiding pirates in looting Marshall Islands’ MT Ocean Centurion.
The sailor’s family approached the authorities in India and Togo to let Sunil travel to India for his son’s funeral. His 11-month-old son Vivaan died on December 2 and, ever since, has been kept in a morgue. The prime minister, after meeting the family, had assured that government was doing its best to bring the sailors back.
“As per the PMO, the government is trying its best to speed up the process but the results aren’t showing. We are just being given likely dates and then they get pushed ahead,” said Aditi.
The Indian ambassador to Ghana, HE Jeeva Sagar, on Wednesday met the president of Togo, Faure Gnassingbé, to discuss the matter. “Jeeva Sagar met the president to discuss the matter.
However, there has been no update yet,” said Satish Sakleshpur, second secretary at the Indian High Commission in Accra, Ghana. “The PMO has told us that the president of Togo is aware of our case and has assured Jeeva Sagar that he will do all that is possible to expedite Sunil’s release,” said Rakesh Madappa, Sunil’s brother-in-law.
While the Togo court and government were being blamed for being inconsiderate, the lawyer said, “Even if there is no evidence against them, there are charges on them and the police can’t let go people on grounds that a family member is ill or dead. However, on humanitarian grounds, the court has considered the matter and the case has been expedited.”
Meanwhile, the family has decided to continue delaying the child’s funeral as long as they can.