X-Press Pearl case to be taken up on October 17
The case filed against eight accused including the Captain of X-Press Pearl vessel which caught fire and sank off in the seas near the Colombo Harbour while carrying Nitric Acid and other chemicals, was fixed for October 17 by the Colombo High Court.
The order regarding the preliminary objections in this case was to be given yesterday, and it was postponed for October 17 as Colombo High Court Judge Damith Thotawatta was on leave.
At a previous occasion, the defence filed the counter-objections over the preliminary objections raised by them before.The Attorney General sought from the Colombo High Court to dismiss the objections of the local representative accused including the captain of the X-Press Pearl vessel which caught fire and sank off in the seas near the Colombo Harbor while carrying Nitric Acid, and fixed the case for trial.
Deputy Solicitor General Madhava Tennakoon appearing for the Attorney General informed Court that if the objections of the accused are accepted, the laws establishing the Prevention of Marine Pollution Act will not fulfill the basic expectations.
The ship’s captain, ship’s owner operators and agencies named as accused in this case should be held responsible for the damage caused by the fire and the Attorney General has the power to prosecute them as per the Act, he said.
The accused have presented eight basic objections in the case, but five of them are factual in the case and should be confirmed through the evidence hearing and three basic objections should be rejected as they are legal matters, he added.
Previously, indictments were served to the other six accused in the case filed by the Attorney General against eight accused including the captain of the X-Press Pearl Vessel, Russian citizen Vitaly Tyutkalo, who was the captain when the vessel caught fire while transporting 186 containers, including several containers containing chemicals.
The case had been filed against eight accused including the vessel’s captain, Vitaly Tyutkalo, a Russian national, the local representative company of the Vessel, C Consortium Company and its directors including Arjuna Indrajith Thisera Hettiarachchi.
The case has been filed against the eight accused under eight charges under the Prevention of Marine Pollution Act and the Penal Code. At a previous occasion, the captain was arrested by the CID and produced before the High Court stating that he had neglected responsibility for the incident.