Hostage couple 'in poor health'

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The Independent Online

Fears for a British couple kidnapped by pirates in the Indian Ocean intensified yesterday after a newly released video film appeared to show them in poor physical and mental health.

Retired quantity surveyor Paul Chandler, 60, and his wife Rachel, 56, from Kent, have been kept apart for the past 98 days. Mr Chandler begged the British Government to intervene and save them. "I just want to say please to my government, get me and my wife out of here. We are innocent, we have done no wrong. We have no money and we can't pay a ransom," he said in the video filmed by the French news agency AFP.

Dr Mohamed Helmi Hangul, who examined the couple, said he was concerned about Mrs Chandler who was said to be suffering from anxiety and insomnia. "She's very confused, she's always asking, 'Where's my husband, where's my husband?' and she seems completely disorientated," he said. Foreign Secretary David Miliband has ruled out a Government-paid ransom.