Watch: “I was a victim of an anti-NGO campaign”; Captain granted provisional bail

Reuters

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Lifeline’s captain was granted provisional bail after being accused of disregarding instructions from the Italian authorities to return to Libya, driving an unregistered vessel and entering in Maltese territorial waters without permission.

For his part, 57-year-old German Captain Claus-Peter Reisch insisted that he feels no guilt after saving 234 lives.

In a courtroom filled with local and foreign press, Sicilian Attorney Corrado Giuliano was also present and said that he is the NGO’s lawyer. He asked that the case be heard in English in order for him to follow. However, the magistrate insisted that the case be heard in Maltese.

Magistrate Joe Mifsud said he is usually sympathetic to cases concerning refugees.

Witnesses Inspector Mario Haber from the immigrant section presented photographs of the vessel taken by the Police.

He said that he and Inspector Darren Borg questioned the Captain the next morning. He explain that the Captain did not fail to give details and sign the statement.

The defense argued that the Captain had a duty to take care of the ship and the immigrants on board. They updated the Court on the case and insisted that Malta had been aware of the Lifeline case since the 21st June. However, it was only on the 27 th June, precisely six days after, when the Maltese let the vassel enter Malta.

Meanwhile, the court allowed the Captain to continue to count on the ship along with Skeleton crew, is the engineer and cook, but it seems that the Captain is staying at a hotel.

The Captain was granted provisional bail against a personal guarantee of €10,000 and has to sign in the Cospicua Police Station everyday. The Court asked the Captain to give his passport and identity card.

The case will continue to be heard on 5th July at 11:30am.

 

Captain Reisch is a victim of an anti-NGO campaign

In a press conference, following the first hearing, the defence said that their client is a victim in a current campaign against NGOs.

Captain Reisch was supported by a number of members of different NGOs who were wearing t-shirts with the words “Save Lives” printed on them.