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Shock at Coral Sea verdict

18 July 2008. For immediate release

Shock at Coral Sea verdict

The ITF today described the verdict in Greece against Captain Laptalo of the Coral Sea as unexpected and impossible to reconcile with all the evidence heard in court which pointed to his innocence.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft said: “This is not a proud day for Greek justice. There is more than a whiff of scapegoating about this verdict, which will take anyone who has followed the case by surprise. Despite the lack of any evidence linking the Captain to the drugs discovered hidden on the Coral Sea he has been sentenced to 14 years for no better reason than conjecture and guilt by association. Everyone involved will be saddened that it will now take more time in custody and a legal appeal to establish his innocence.”

Predrag Brazzoduro, ITF coordinator for Croatia, who was at the trial, added: “This is astonishing news. The court has sentenced a 59 year old man to spend most of the rest of his life in jail solely on the basis that he was the captain, so must be guilty.”

ENDS

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