Canada to Prosecute Greek Shipping Company for Marathassa Spill

Canada has reached a decision on prosecuting Greek shipping company Alassia NewShips Management (Alassia) for various environmental offenses related to the oil spill from its operated vessel Marathassa in April 2015.

The Provincial Court of British Columbia said that an ex parte trial will be held against Alassia at the same time as the trial of Marathassa set for February 26, 2018.

The decision was made following several legal challenges of the summons issued to the company in February 2017, as the company claimed it was not properly informed of the proceedings.

The company did not appear at the first or any subsequent appearances in the provincial court.

“It is abundantly clear that prior to the first appearance, Alassia had knowledge of the Summons because Alassia instructed Mr. Swanson (counsel for Alassia) to challenge the service of the Summons in Federal Court,” the court said.

Hence, the court decided to prosecute the company regardless of whether it participates in the legal proceedings.

The 81,000 dwt cargo ship was confirmed as the source of the toxic bunker oil spill in English Bay that released around 3,000 litres of oil into the water on April 8, 2015.

A subsequent investigation conducted by Transport Canada into the Vancouver spill found that the spill had been caused by mechanical problems on board MV Marathassa.

Following the spill, the City of Vancouver officials said that they were determined to get repayment for what the city had spent on the response.

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