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Merseyside pirate fighter jailed for gun-running in India launches fresh appeal #freesgo6

Bootle-born Paul Towers was originally cleared of weapons charges before being given a five-year sentence

The son of an ex-soldier from Merseyside jailed for gun-running in India has vowed to battle for justice.

Paul Towers, originally from Bootle, was arrested in 2013 along with 34 colleagues on board an anti-piracy ship.

The men worked on the American-owned vessel, the MV Seaman Guard Ohio, tasked with protecting merchant seamen in some of the most dangerous waters in the world.

The crew were accused of illegally possessing arms after the ship strayed into Indian waters during a typhoon.

Mr Towers, who was head of security on the ship, was initially cleared of the charges, but an appeal led to a second trial and he was given a five year sentence .

His son, Jordan, who continues to fight for his release, has hit out at claims the convicted men are “mercenaries”.

Jordan posted on the Free Paul Towers Facebook page: “As the son of Paul and somebody who has been heavily involved in this terrible situation, I would like to reassure everybody that there is no grey area regarding the men’s profession.

“Every one of our men is a totally professional and a law abiding person that spent a great deal of their own time doing the relevant courses and requirements to be in the job they were in. The only ‘grey area’ is the deeply upsetting and unfortunate judicial process they have been caught up in for over two years.”

The Mission to Seafarers, a charity working to have the men released, said Towers attended a court hearing on Saturday over an application for bail.

A spokesman said: “There was a bail hearing on Saturday and the judgment was reserved. We’re trying to found out exactly what that means – we don’t really know what the outcome is.

Paul Towers on his way to an earlier court hearing in India

“We were hoping they were going to get bail but they haven’t yet and that’s so disappointing. The families are very disappointed and very anxious.”

Mr Towers has launched a fresh appeal over his conviction which will be heard by the High Court in Chennai.

A date is yet to be set.

His wife, Ann Towers, said: “This is utter madness that men who have led lives of integrity and service should end up behind the bars of a prison.

“We pray for the appeal to be expedited as quickly as possible and that justice will prevail, so that our beloved men are allowed to come home.”

The families have launched a petition which will be handed to Prime Minister David Cameron calling for help.

It has been signed by around 350,000 people.

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