Spain Calls For Overturn of Acquittals in 2002 Fuel Oil Spill

by Ship & Bunker News Team
Thursday October 1, 2015

Spain's State Prosecutor has urged the Supreme Court to overturn a decision made by a lower court in 2013 to acquit three men involved in the 2002 Prestige fuel oil spill, local media reports

State prosecutor Luis Navajas reportedly said that the acquittal was both "flawed" and "notoriously wrong," and that Captain Apostolos Mangouras, as well as the chief engineer and a Spanish official, should have been held responsible in the environmental incident.

"The prestige of Spain as a state that defends its coasts and its economic wealth was called into question by this decision," he said, in addition to arguing for €4.3 billion ($4.8 billion) in environmental damage compensation. 

The Bahamas-registered oil tanker Prestige reportedly spilled 63,000 tonnes of fuel oil back in 2002 after it sank off the northwest coast of mainland Spain, reportedly making it one of the worst environmental disasters on the continent.

The lower court reportedly found no criminal or civil fault in the oil spill case at the time, saying that none of the three accused were intentionally or seriously negligent. 

Earlier this year, Ship & Bunker reported another oil spill in Spanish waters which drew comparisons to the Prestige spill, although that incident saw 50 times less fuel leaked into the water.