BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: World: South Asia
Front Page 
World 
Africa 
Americas 
Asia-Pacific 
Europe 
Middle East 
South Asia 
-------------
From Our Own Correspondent 
-------------
Letter From America 
UK 
UK Politics 
Business 
Sci/Tech 
Health 
Education 
Entertainment 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
AudioVideo 

Friday, 8 December, 2000, 11:18 GMT
Plea to India over jailed Briton
Peter Bleach
Peter Bleach: Jailed for life by a court in India
The UK Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, has made a formal request to India to free a British man jailed for arms smuggling.

Peter Bleach is serving a life sentence in a Calcutta prison after being convicted in February for being involved in a mysterious arms drop over eastern India in 1995.

During his trial, the prosecution alleged that the arms were intended for a Hindu group in West Bengal.

Five Latvian and Russian men, who also took part in the operation, have already been pardoned and released after representations from Russia.

It has never been clear why Bleach was involved, and what the arms were meant to be used for.

Bleach insisted that he carried out the drop with the knowledge of the UK and Indian intelligence services.

Other releases

The British High Commissioner in India, Rob Young, told journalists that the UK had asked for Bleach's release on grounds that others who were released were convicted on identical grounds.

"Otherwise, it would look like he was being treated in a discriminatory matter," he said.

The case of Peter Bleach was raised by the UK Home Secretary, Jack Straw, during an official visit to India in September.

Bleach and the Russian and Latvian crew men were detained after Indian air force jets forced down their Latvian Antonov An-26 transport plane while it was over India.

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
BBC RADIO NEWS
BBC ONE TV NEWS
WORLD NEWS SUMMARY
PROGRAMMES GUIDE
See also:

22 Jul 00 | South Asia
India pardons arms drop crew
24 Apr 00 | South Asia
India arms case reopened
02 Feb 00 | South Asia
Briton gets life in India arms case
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more South Asia stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more South Asia stories