It’s time to bring Billy home

Kirsten Oswald, with Billy Irvine's fiancee Yvonne McHugh.

Kirsten Oswald, with Billy Irvine's fiancee Yvonne McHugh.

0
Have your say

A jailed Neilston man who was sentenced to five years imprisonment after being arrested by Indian forces may be one step closer to being freed.

Billy Irving, and five other British sailors, were jailed for five years for possession of firearms after being arrested aboard the anti-piracy ship MV Seaman Guard Ohio.

Billy, pictured with fiancee Yvonne and son William.

Billy, pictured with fiancee Yvonne and son William.

And, Kirsten Oswald MP, the SNP Spokesperson on Armed Forces and Veterans is vigorously fighting his case.

Kirsten has raised this issue repeatedly in Parliament, and has been instrumental in pressing the UK Government to act, and help Billy and his colleagues.

Now campaigners, including Billy’s partner, Yvonne McHugh, have obtained the original gun licences issued by the UK Government, which, it is claimed, prove the men are innocent. These have been sent to the Indian High Court in Madras and Kirsten hopes that this development may prove vital in securing the men’s release.

Kirsten commented: “To have further evidence of Billy’s innocence is yet another milestone in this case. I hope that the Indian Courts look carefully at this evidence and that justice finally prevails.

“Billy and his colleagues have been in this terrible situation for far too long. I have continued to press for his release, and lobbied the UK Government relentlessly to explore every diplomatic channel to get Billy home with his family.

“Having had several meetings with the Foreign Office, I now hope to meet with the new Foreign Secretary to urge him to do the right thing, and push for the release of Billy and his colleagues.”

In a surprise announcement on Monmday this week, Prime Minister, Theresa May said she had taken up the case of the six Britons at the highest level with the Indian government, after reports suggested that they were “rotting” in jail for crimes they did not commit.

A spokesman for the Prime Minister said: ”The government is raising the case of the “Chennai Six” at the highest level with the Indian government”, but refused to say if the government thought they had been wrongly jailed.