ITF slams victimisation of Mangouras

Union says “innocent” Prestige captain should not be jailed again by Spain.

The ITF union has criticised what it calls the victimisation of Prestige captain Apostolos Mangouras in a Spanish appeal ruling on the 2002 sinking and oil spill this week.

The decision handed a victory to Spain’s government in most points of its appeal of a 2013 judgement that acquitted tanker master Mangouras, 81, of most charges.

He has now been sentenced to two years in jail, but it remains uncertain whether he will serve any time.

ITF seafarers’ section chair Dave Heindel said: “This decision represents the dying gasps of a 14-year-old attempt to deflect blame on to the shoulders of an octogenarian man, who has been cleared in the court of world opinion and by his peers.

“Thankfully it is likely to be as unenforceable as it is illogical. This innocent man cannot again be made to sit needlessly in jail.”

He added: “The Mangouras case was one of the worse examples of the kneejerk criminalisation of seafarers. The ITF, like many other organisations and individuals, was able to support him during that ordeal. This latest piece of victimisation reminds us that we must all remain vigilant to protect seafarers from these injustices.”