A court in Lome, Togo, has deferred the trail of detained Indian Merchant Navy sailor Peechulli Ashok Chandran to next week. Officials at the crew management firm, where Chandran is employed, said the verdict was due to be delivered on Friday, but was put off by the judge.
Chennai native Chandran, chief officer on board the MV Ocean Centurion, has been detained in Togo since July last year on charges of abetting piracy. He is the lone crew member of the vessel to remain in Togo, after his colleagues, Captian Sunil James and third engineer Andi Vijayan were released in December last year.
“We had been waiting for the verdict to be delivered Friday, but our lawyers communicated to us that the judge deferred it as there were a few more matters to dispose off. It will now most likely be delivered next week,” said Captain Khushroo Khambata of the Accord Marine Management Pvt Ltd.
MV Ocean Centurion, the first vessel that Chandran had sailed on with Accord Marine, was attacked by pirates off the coast of Togo in July last year. The pirates fled with the crew’s belongings, and took one of the vessel’s life-boats.