- Title: FILE: Trial of Prestige oil tanker spill to begin in Spain.
- Date: 16th October 2012
- Summary: VARIOUS OF LOCAL GALICIAN PAPERS HEADLINING PRESTIGE SINKING
- Embargoed: 31st October 2012 12:00
- Location: Spain
- Country: Spain
- Topics: Disasters,Environment
- Reuters ID: LVA904G53J5Q9UJM8E2B11P0ZAQE
- Story Text: The trial over responsibility for the sinking of the Prestige oil tanker which caused Spain's worst environmental disaster almost ten years ago starts on Tuesday.
The trial against those accused over the sinking of the Prestige oil tanker which caused Spain's worst environmental disaster is set to begin on Tuesday (October 16) in the Galician city of A Coruï¿½ in northern Spain ten years after the oil slick tainted the coast of northern Spain and entered French waters.
The Prestige oil tanker, with a Bahamas flag, set off from Lithuania and was heading to Gibraltar when it had an accident and started taking in water during a storm on November 13, 2002 off the coast of Galicia. It sank six days later dumping 77,000 tonnes of fuel into the sea causing serious damage to wildlife and livelihoods.
The prosecution has asked for 12 years jail term for the Prestige's Greek captain, Apostolos Mangouras, 78, who is charged with harming the environment as well as other charges related to damage of a protected enviroment.
The ship's chief engineer Argyropoulos Nikolaos, also Greek, and first mate Flilipino Irineo Maloto, who is at large, also face charges, The director of Spain's Merchant Marine at the time of the sinking who ordered the ship out to sea when it was losing fuel, Josï¿½Luis Lï¿½ez-Sors, also stands accused.
The prosecution estimates the disaster cost only Spain 3.8 billion euros and is asking for damages of 4.1 billion euros of which 2.2 billion are civil damages.
Over 2300 people were affected by the spill, but the number seeking compensation has been reduced to about 1500.
When the prestige sank tainting the sea with think black fuel, over 3000 volunteers from around Europe joined the clean-up effort.
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