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Spain: Prestige oil spill disaster trial begins

Spain: Prestige oil spill disaster trial begins
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Three seamen accused of causing Spain’s worst ever environmental disaster are going on trial. The Prestige tanker sank in 2002, spilling more than 50,000 tonnes of crude into the Atlantic.

Prosecutors are demanding a 12 year prison sentence for the captain Apostolos Mangouras, now 77. The chief engineer and the former head of Spain’s merchant marine department are also being held responsible.

The Prestige went down off the coast of Galicia a decade ago, polluting beaches across northern Spain and parts of France.

Lawyers say the investigation took so long because of the nationalities involved. The ship sailed under the Bahamas flag with a largely Greek crew, and was insured in the UK.

The damage caused by the spill has been estimated at around 4 billion euros, according to court documents.

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