4 Keralites released from Togo jail, reach home safely
They were awarded with four years of imprisonment for accused robbery in a ship in Togo, which they did not commit.
Four Malayali youths, who were held in Togo jail for almost three and half years on robbery charges, have been acquitted and are back home to safety, thanks to efforts of the Indian government. Godwin Antony, Nidhin Babu Tharun Babu and Shaji Abdullakkutti landed in Nedumbassery airport on Saturday morning. Dears and nears were present at the airport to welcome them.
They were awarded with four years of imprisonment for accused robbery in a ship in Togo, which they did not commit. The four youths from Ernakulam had gone to Togo, a West African country, in search of job in June 2013. They were told by a friend, Arun Chandra, that a yet-to-be-started shipping company in Togo needs employees. The four took flight to Togo and were accommodated in a hotel there.
Things began to turn against them when they got arrested from the hotel along with Arun Chandra. They were taken to the court and put in civil jail. They had to sign many documents written in French and later, a jail official informed them that they were arrested for robbing goods in a ship.
The court awarded them with four years of imprisonment for the crime they did not commit. Though they filed appeal in the court to prove their innocence, each time the hearing was postponed. Meanwhile, allegations also came that it was due to political reasons that their appeal was not considered.
Later, the families of youths approached foreign secretaries and Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs of India, to appeal for the release of their people. The involvement of government did work and the four youths got released after putting political pressure in Togo.