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I did a post a couple of days ago about a trial to be held in Marseilles today (9 July 2018) of the Captain of Azura for a breach of the environmental regulations regarding sulphur pollution on March 29 in Marseilles.

I’ve been scouring the internet for updates, and I’ve learned that the case has been deferred until 9 October. I’m reading documents that have been through Google Translation so I can’t be 100% sure of what I’m reading, but this is what I think I’ve discovered:-

  • this is definitely a criminal case (previously I wasn’t certain that it wasn’t a civil case);
  • the maximum penalties are 1 year in prison and a €200,000 fine. I wasn’t sure if these were alternatives (“or”), but they can both be applied;
  • there’s a suggestion that the Captain didn’t appear today – instead, Carnival’s lawyers (Mes. Bertrand Coste and Patrick Simon) appeared before the court and made arguments and presentations;
  • and I gather that Carnival Corporation – presumably in the guise of its French subsidiary – are also joined to the action. This is new – previously only the Captain was indicted.

Indeed, I get a hint that it was the prosecution that asked for the deferral until October, as presumably they want to make further investigations for a possible case against Carnival Corp and not just the Captain. So it looks as if this is becoming a more serious affair.

One interesting thing – the Captain has not been named, in any document that I’ve read. As it happens I’ve worked out who I believe was the Azura’s Captain on 29 March; but seeing as there may be some French law over revealing the identity, I’m going to keep quiet as well.

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