Bleach hopes for Danish trial

Peter Bleach
Peter Bleach
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THE DANISH judiciary yesterday refused to extradite the man behind the arms deal which landed Scarborough resident Peter Bleach in an Indian jail.

Mr Bleach, of Cornelian Avenue, spent eight years in Calcutta Prison for his part in the arms drop over West Bengal in 1995.

For Scarborough People.  Peter Bleach, former arms dealer, pictured with a backdrop of Scarborough Castle and South Bay, of which he had a photo on his prison cell wall in Karachi, taken by Scarborough photographer Max Payne.  Portrait by Andrew Higgins  112201a    30/05/11

For Scarborough People. Peter Bleach, former arms dealer, pictured with a backdrop of Scarborough Castle and South Bay, of which he had a photo on his prison cell wall in Karachi, taken by Scarborough photographer Max Payne. Portrait by Andrew Higgins 112201a 30/05/11

Yesterday it emerged that Kim Davy, also known as Niels Holck, will not face a similar fate, after the Danish high court refused a request the extradite Davy to stand trial in India.

Davy approached Mr Bleach, then an arms dealer, and set up the arms deal. He escaped when Peter and the rest of the crew were arrested in the days after the botched drop.

Mr Bleach, who has always maintained that he kept British security services informed of his actions and acted in good faith, gave key evidence at Davy’s extradition hearing in May.

Speaking to the Evening News yesterday, Mr Bleach said: “I identified him as the person who bought the arms and delivered them.

“The Danish judges spent a great deal of time asking me about how I was treated in jail - they seemed to be very interested in that.”

The panel eventually concluded that Davy faced a risk of mistreatment if he was sent to stand trial in India, despite assurances from the Indian government.

While Mr Bleach was in prison in India, he almost died after he contracted tuberculosis in the brutal conditions.

He was also denied food, water and visitors in the early stages of his incarceration.

Mr Bleach yesterday welcomed the decision of the Danish court, making international headlines.

Both CNN and New Delhi TV sent journalists to Scarborough to interview the 61-year-old.

However, while he agrees Davy would have been harmed in India, Mr Bleach called for him to be tried in Copenhagen instead, so that the truth about the arms deal can finally emerge.

“Him going on trial there would be the best possible situation all round,” he said. “In Copenhagen there would be no question of bias.

“I think if the Indian government requested that, the Danish would find it very hard to refuse.

“I was surprised by the decision, I thought the assurances the Indians had given would be enough.

“I can only hope that the next stage is a trial in Denmark - I really look forward to that.

“It’s a hollow victory for him really - he’s still wanted by Interpol and he’d be arrested immediately if he stepped foot outside Denmark.”

He added: “I don’t think this is the end of the story. It was so long ago that I don’t really have any feelings toward the man - I just want the full story to come out.

“I think the people of West Bengal deserve that and a fair trial is the only way I will clear my name.”

In the infamous arms drop, four tonnes of weapons were dropped over West Bengal, but missed their intended location.

Mr Bleach, who supplied the weapons, was given a lifetime jail sentence after being convicted of waging war against the Indian state.

He was freed in 2004 after Tony Blair’s government lobbied for his release.

He claims he was told by the British security services to carry out the arms deal.