Rs 340M Claim Sent to Distressed Tanker’s Owners
By Hansi Nanayakkara
Attorney General Dappula de Livera has submitted an interim claim for Rs 340 million to the lawyers representing the owners of the oil tanker ‘MT New Diamond’, for costs incurred by the Government of Sri Lanka, in the assistance rendered to the ship and other related matters following the recent fire.
The Attorney General’s Coordinating Officer, State Counsel Nishara Jayaratne said, the claim, was handed over yesterday (16), seeking compensation for costs related to the assistance rendered by all parties, including the Navy, Air Force, Ports Authority, Colombo Dockyard PLC, Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) and the Department of Coast Conservation, to douse the fire onboard the oil tanker, and other related issues.
She said the claim was submitted to the owners of the oil tanker, seeking a compensation amounting to the said sum and that this estimated cost was prepared only for that incurred up to 15 September. Jayaratne added an estimate regarding the threat to the marine environment, as an outcome of the oil leak, related to the incident, will be submitted within the coming days, after the relevant reports are received from MEPA. She further said compensation is expected to be sought for the total amount of the costs incurred by all parties, based on a total estimate and that this estimate cannot be submitted until the oil tanker exits Sri Lankan waters.
Meanwhile, the AG instructed the Director of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) to name the Captain of the ‘MT New Diamond’ as a suspect in the case.
Jayaratne said the AG had assessed that there is sufficient evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that a punishable offence had been committed by the suspect under the provisions of Sections 25, 26, 38 and 53 of the Marine Pollution Prevention Act of 2008.
Accordingly, the AG issued instructions to the CID Director to produce evidence and report facts to the relevant Magistrate’s Court in compliance with the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and to obtain notice to produce the suspect before Court.