India welcomes South Korean court’s clean chit to Indian sailors

June 11th, 2009 - 7:34 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) India Thursday welcomed the clean chit given by a South Korean court to two Indian sailors accused of negligence in a collision with another vessel two years ago and hoped for their early return home.
The Daejon High Court acquitted Captain J.S. Chawla and Chief Officer Chetan Syam, of the marine vessel Hebei Spirit, of the charges of criminal negligence.

They were detained by South Korean authorities after a collision between the Hebei Spirit, carrying 260,000 tonnes of crude oil, and a Samsung-owned barge in 2007.

“This verdict once again vindicates the position of the two Indian seafarers that there was no criminal negligence on their part in the accident involving their ship,” the external affairs ministry said in a statement.

“Government of India understands that the lawyers of the Indian seafarers have already approached the Prosecution for lifting the exit ban on them,” the ministry said.

“It is hoped that the exit ban on the two seafarers will be lifted and that they will be able to return home soon,” it added.

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