MV Lifeline’s Captain Claus-Peter Reisch will receive the judgement some time in the new year. During the fifth hearing against the Captain who stands accused of having ignored instructions from the Italian authorities to return the 243 people saved to Libya and of sailing a vessel which was not registered properly and had entered Maltese territorial waters without the required permission. The case goes back to July when Lifeline had saved 243 asylum seekers from drowning which were eventually brought to Malta and distributed among EU member states after an ad hoc agreement.
During a short sitting, it emerged that the documents requested from the Dutch authorities had finally arrived however these needed to be translated into English and Maltese. The court appointed a company which would hopefully have the translation of the 5-page document ready by Wednesday when another sitting is scheduled for the documents to be presented in court. After a lengthy discussion on whether cross-examination should take place on the same day as the presentation of documents, it was decided that a hearing would take place on 18 December. The Magistrate, Joe Mifsud warned that this would lead to the court decision being given after Christmas.