Two German sailors of the cargo vessel M.V.Grietje await exit permits after they were acquitted recently from a case in connection with an unidentified ship hitting a fibre boat carrying fishermen from Kasimedu here on March 16.

After the incident, Wolfgang Albrecht, the vessel’s Master, and Steffen Hinfoth, Chief Mate, were produced by the Fishing Harbour police before XVI Metropolitan Magistrate, George Town. They were immediately let out on bail by the Magistrate as the charge alleged against them was bailable.

According to the prosecution, 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 flag of Antigua Barbuda, was alleged to have passed through the way.

There was suspicion that the vessel was involved in the accident.

Hence, the police charged two sailors for the offence under Section 304(A) (Causing death by negligence) of Indian Penal code and sixteen persons were cited as witnesses.

After conclusion of the trial last July, XVI Metropolitan Magistrate G.Jayavelu acquitted the two sailors from the case, saying: “There is no evidence against them. Witnesses turned hostile in the case. The prosecution also failed to prove the charge.”

V.J. Mathew, senior counsel for the sailors, told The Hindu , “We argued in the trial court that they were innocent and were not involved in the alleged incident.”

He added that the two sailors were awaiting completion of the immigration process to return to their native soil as early as possible. They have applied to the Foreigners’ Regional Registration Office for exit permits. The process is being followed up by the Consulate General.”

The ship sailed away from Indian territorial waters last March after getting a release order from court.

  • Their ship allegedly hit a fishing vessel

  • Magistrate ruled evidence was not enough