Guilty verdicts in Sea Diamond sinking trial

Court suspends jail sentences or allows guilty to buy off sentences

Ship's captain receives 12 years and two months' jail and a €8,000 fine for his role in the sinking of the Sea Diamond off Santorini in 2007

The Sea Diamond shortly before it sank near the island of Santorini (File photo) The Sea Diamond shortly before it sank near the island of Santorini (File photo) A court has sentenced eight out of a total of 13 defendants for their role in the sinking of a cruise ship off Santoniri in 2007 in which two French tourists were reported missing and are assumed dead.

However, few if any of those found guilty will spend a day in jail after the court suspended some of the sentences or allowed those sentenced to pay off their sentences.

Piraeus three-member misdemeanours court found that three of the accused had acted with intent.

The ship's captain received a jail sentence of 12 years and two months and a €8,000 fine while the an employee of DNV (Det Norske Veritas), the independent foundation that deemed the ship seaworthy, got eight years.

The cruise liner, owned by Louis Hellenic Cruises, sank on 6 April 2007, a day after ramming into a reef and developing a list while sailing half a nautical mile from the Aegean island of Santorini in the Cyclades, with 1,195 passengers and 391 crew on board.

All personnel and passengers on board were evacuated safely with the exception of a French man and his teenage daughter, Jean Christophe Allain( 45) and his daughter Maud (16), who were reported missing and are assumed dead.

Also sentenced were the navigation officer (two years and 10 months), chief engineer (two years and four months), company's legal representative (two years), inspector/auditor (15 months) and security officer (six months and a €600 fine).

The first engineer officer, chief officer, chief steward and the cabin manager were aquitted.

After the verdict, Louis Hellenic Cruises, the owner of the Sea Diamond, said that it would appeal the decisions to the a higher court.

The Cyprus-based company paid for a surface clean-up operation. The wreck remains at the bottom of the sea.

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Aegean Sea
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