Peter Sharp's Case Adjourned to September 26

KOKOPO (EAST NEW BRITAIN) - Shipping company owner Peter Sharp appeared yesterday before the Kokopo District Court facing 162 manslaughter charges and one charge for sending an unworthy ship to sea. He appeared before Magistrate Oakaiva Oiveka for mention.

The case was adjourned to Sept 26 to allow police to complete their files. His bail of K5,000 was extended.

Sharp, 69, from Shetland Island in Scotland, is the managing director and owner of Hamamas Lines Ltd and Rabaul Shipping Ltd.

The charges are related to the sinking of the mv Rabaul Queen on Feb 2 last year off the coast of Finschhafen, Morobe, resulting in the reported death of more than 200 people.

Sharp was arrested and charged on Tuesday after investigations by police following a commission of inquiry into the sea disaster.

Meanwhile, police investigators are interviewing the captain of the vessel Capt Anthony Tsiau, 54, from Nissan island in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville at the Ralum police provincial headquarters.

Head of the police investigating team Chief Insp Benjamin Tuli confirmed yesterday that the interview would continue today. This was because Tsiau was facing difficulties understanding English.

Reports from West New Britain indicated that police investigators were also interviewing the officer in charge of the National Maritime and Safety Authority in Kimbe Benjamin Michael from Misima, Milne Bay.

Police said investigators would determine later if there was sufficient evidence to lay charges. [TheNational]
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