Captain jailed for death of 38 migrants at sea

16th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

16 January 2006, MADRID — Spain's supreme court sentenced a Moroccan citizen to 40 years in prison for captaining a boat in which 38 illegal immigrants died in the Straits of Gibraltar.

16 January 2006

MADRID — Spain's supreme court sentenced a Moroccan citizen to 40 years in prison for captaining a boat in which 38 illegal immigrants died in the Straits of Gibraltar.

The sentence rejected a plea lodged by the accused against another previous sentence handed down by the Cadiz (Andalusia) provincial court in November 2004.

The tragedy occurred in October 2003, when a wave capsized the small craft in the waters of the Straits while carrying 43 immigrants, of whom 38 drowned, although the captain and another five passengers managed to survive.

According to the sentence, the accused bore responsibility for transporting these people in a fragile, overloaded craft in a high-risk crossing of the Straits with no lifesaving equipment.

The skipper was arrested in October that same year in the port of Algeciras (southern Spain) when he tried to flee back to Morocco.

The Straits of Gibraltar for years have been a favourite route for African immigrants trying to reach the coast of Spain from Morocco, crowded into small boats with not infrequent shipwrecks and deaths by drowning.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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