Two German sailors of cargo ship ‘M.V.Grietje’ were arrested on Tuesday in connection with a cargo ship hitting a fibre boat of Kasimedu fishermen on March 16. They were granted conditional bail by a magistrate court.
Wolfgang Albrecht, the Master, and Steffen Hinfoth, Chief Mate of the vessel ‘M.V.Grietje’, were arrested in the morning and produced before XVI Metropolitan Magistrate A.Ramesh who remanded them in judicial custody.
On March 16 at 4.30 am, three fishermen were engaged in repairing their boat after it developed a snag, when a cargo ship hit their boat. Two of them reached the shore with the help of another boat, while Anandan drowned. M.V. Grietje, flying the Antigua and Barbuda flag, allegedly passed through the way. Hence, there is a suspicion that the vessel was involved in the accident. Following a police application, the court last week ordered the seizure of the ship for investigation.
Immediately after the remand, counsel for the sailors filed a bail application citing the fact that the offence they were accused of was bailable.
The sailors submitted that “they are innocent and were never involved in any offence”. They said that they would abide by any condition being imposed by the court if they were released on bail.
However, the prosecution opposed the release of the sailors on bail, saying they might not be available for trial, as they were foreigners.
Considering the contentions put forth by both the sides and on perusal of records, Mr. Ramesh noted that the sailors were remanded to judicial custody for the alleged offence under Section 304(A) (Causing death by negligence) of Indian Penal code. Since it was a bailable offence, the court was inclined to enlarge them on bail on executing a bond for Rs.5,000 each with two sureties each for a like sum.
The sailors were directed to report before police every day at 10 am until further orders.