New Delhi: Two Indian sailors, Captain Jasprit Chawla and Chief Officer Chetan Shyam, have been released by a South Korean court after nearly 540 days in captivity. Captain Chawla and Chief Officer Shyam have been proven not guilty in Heibei Spirit oil spill case and released by the South Korean court.

They were released on bail in January 2009 but kept under house arrest. “We have spoken to him. He said that he will be back in another two-three days. We had a lot of international support and from the Indian government. Our prayers are answered,” sister of Captain Chawla, Rosy Khurana, said.

The duo will return to India soon. Five persons, including the two officers were indicted in December 2007, after an oil spill by MV Hebei Spirit that incident occurred near Port Daesan in South Korea. The barge was floating free after the cable linking it to the tug snapped in the rough seas spilling 10,800 tonnes of crude oil into the sea.

On December 10, Captain Chawla and Chief Officer Shyam were sentenced to 18 months and eight months imprisonment respectively.