Wednesday 10 September 2008

The ferry Seagull Express 2 tragedy, court case postponed

The ferry Seagull Express 2

The Mersing to Pulau Tioman ferry
Seagull Express 2
on fire at sea, on 13th October 2007

Justice delayed is justice denied!

Court proceedings in Kota Tiggi, Johor, concerning the Mersing to Pulau Tioman ferry tragedy that killed seven people last year were postponed on 9th September 2008, as defence lawyers did not receive the necessary documents.

Out of the six people charged, five were represented while the sixth was unrepresented.

Lawyer S. Vijayaretnam who was representing four of the accused, requested that the case be postponed because most of the documents needed for the trials were still with the Mersing Marine Department, he informed the judge; furthermore he had only received some other documents on the morning of the first day of trial and did not have enough time to study them.

Judge Kunju Krisnan then fixed 7th & 8th January 2009 for the trials.

A total of five Seagull Express 2 company directors face three charges while the captain faces four charges following the ferry tragedy in October last year which claimed seven lives.

The ferry was carrying 106 people when it caught fire and sank at 12:30 near Pulau Tioman, the tragedy took place on 13th October 2007, and claimed seven lives.

All defendants were charged under Section 300 (1) of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952 for sending an unseaworthy ship to sea, which carries a fine not exceeding RM20,000, or jail of not more than two years, or both.

They were also charged under Section 474 of the same ordinance for operating the ferry without a licence which has a penalty of a fine not exceeding RM1,000.

The directors were also charged under the Merchant Shipping (Medical examination) Rules1999 for employing two persons who did not have valid medical examination certifications with a maximum fine of RM10,000.

The captain faces additional charges under Section 235 of the Merchant Shipping Ordinance 1952, for sailing without a certificate of survey and under Section 233 of the same ordinance for departing without a passenger list.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zulharry Abdul Rashid prosecuted the case.

Let us hope that there is not another postponement in January next year!!

Iustitia omnibus

Justice for all

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