Maltese court fines migrant rescue ship captain over mis-registration

Source: Xinhua| 2019-05-14 20:34:21|Editor: xuxin
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VALLETTA, May 14 (Xinhua) -- The captain of the MV Lifeline was fined 10,000 euros over a registration irregularity by a Maltese court on Tuesday.

The rescue vessel had over 200 migrants on board when it was allowed to dock in Malta in June 2018 after intense EU talks. The ship was then seized, and its German captain Claus Peter Reisch was charged with having incorrect paperwork.

The vessel was not correctly registered with its flag state, said the court, as the document purported by the defence to register it as a Dutch pleasure craft was actually a certificate of ownership.

The Court of Magistrates imposed a fine of 10,000 euros on Reisch, suggesting that the money could be distributed amongst several local charities by the Maltese authorities.

It did not uphold the request for the confiscation of the vessel. The vessel will not be released until any eventual appeal is decided.

Reisch has described the decision as "scandalous". His lawyers said they were studying the decision with a view to filing an appeal.