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German man stuck in Indian airport for 2 months comes home

A 41 year old German man who has been stuck at the Indian airport for two months finally gets the chance to come home after being locked out by the coronavirus pandemic. The man has left the airport in New Delhi after being in limbo for the whole time trapped between India’s coronavirus restrictions and the fear of prosecution at home. The man, who had wanted to fly from Hanoi to Istanbul via New Delhi, was prevented from embarking on the last leg of his flight when India imposed restrictions amid the coronavirus crisis.

Although the German Embassy informed him how he could return to his home country on evacuation flights, the man did not want to take advantage of the opportunities, fearing prosecution for criminal offences, an Indian airport official told DPA news agency. Officials said that the man, Edgard Ziebat, has said he will leave India as soon as international flights resume after the national lockdown, and wants to stay at the airport until then.

Ziebat has been living in the airport since March 18, after he arrived in New Delhi from Hanoi as a transit passenger on his way to Istanbul. March 18 was the day India banned all flights to Turkey to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Four days later, India banned all international flights. Stranded, Ziebat could neither exit India, nor the airport’s transit area, because he does not have an Indian visa.

Zeibat failed to apply for an Indian visa as he was involved in a few possible criminal activities in Germany and so he would’ve been denied entry. An official said that he did not desire to travel from Turkey to Saudi Arabia. German authorities were in contact with those in India regarding his case, the official said, but they have declined to say anything about his possible criminal past.

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During the weeks spent at the airport, he was given food, drink, toothpaste, fresh clothing and even a mosquito net by Indian authorities. The official said he spent his time mostly on the internet, on the phone with family and friends or reading magazines and newspapers. He has finally set off to Europe on a KLM plane on a repatriation flight headed for Amsterdam according to the official and this was confirmed by Indian Police sources cited by news outlet India Today. He has also tested negative for the novel coronavirus.

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