Sri Lanka has said it will file pollution and negligence charges against the captain of a Greek VLCC that leaked fuel following a fire.
The New Shipping-managed, 300,000-dwt New Diamond (built 2000) suffered a blaze in the Indian Ocean earlier this month, creating a slick over more than a mile of sea, according to the country's coastguard.
"There is sufficient evidence to prosecute the skipper under the marine pollution act as well as the penal code for criminal negligence," a spokeswoman for Attorney-General Dappula de Livera told reporters in Colombo.
The Colombo Magistrate on Thursday issued a summons for the Greek national to appear in court on 28 September, the Colombo Gazette reported.
Most of the fuel that escaped from the ship has been cleaned up and no further leaks have been reported since Friday, according to the AFP news agency.
Claim submitted to owner
De Livera has also submitted a claim to owner New Emporios Shipping for LKR 340m ($1.83m) to cover the costs of firefighting.
Coordinating officer to the Attorney-General state counsel, Nishara Jayaratne, told media that the ship would not be allowed to leave until compensation is paid.
A sum of money will also be sought from the owner for the cost of any environmental clean-up and damage, the government said in a statement.
The vessel is lying 139 km off the Sri Lankan coastal town of Batticaloa.
One crewman died after a boiler exploded while the tanker was en route to Paradip in India.
Manager stays silent
The remaining 22 crew members, including the captain, were rescued and are in quarantine at a hotel in Galle.
Owners and managers at Adam Polemis-led New Shipping have not made any statements about the fire throughout the incident, nor have they responded to a request for comment.
Another request was made to New Shipping on Thursday.
TradeWinds reported on Wednesday that the next stage in the salvage of the fire-damaged VLCC is set to begin after salvors removed water from its flooded engine room.