Former Fylingthorpe arms dealer to attend hearing

Peter Bleach who now works for English Heritage at Helmsley Castle.  May 13, 2008.'Picture Bruce Rollinson

Peter Bleach who now works for English Heritage at Helmsley Castle. May 13, 2008.'Picture Bruce Rollinson

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A FORMER arms dealer who ran a defence sales business from his Fylingthorpe home is set to give evidence at an extradition hearing in Copenhagen this week.

Peter Bleach (60) spent eight years in an Indian prison in Kolkata after being convicted of taking part in an illegal weapons drop in India and now he intends to speak out against efforts to extradite the plot’s alleged ringleader, Danish man Niels Holck.

The ex-Army man had been running a defence business named Aeroserve UK from Howdale House on the North York Moors but always maintained that Niels Holck, alias Kim Davy, alias Niels Christian Nielson, was the real ringleader of the group.

Mr Bleach said that he did not believe Holck would receive a fair trial in India and that he intended to speak to the court on both that and the state of Indian jails.

Mr Bleach was given a life sentence for his part in a plot to parachute weapons to Western Bengali rebels but he was freed in 2004 following the intervention of then-Prime Minister Tony Blair.

Following his release Mr Bleach has sought to clear his name and prove that he acted in good faith in the mission to drop assault rifles, rocket launchers and anti-tank grenades over villages in West Bengal’s Purulia district in 1995.