World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Justice at Last for Coral Sea Captain

Justice at Last for Coral Sea Captain

Captain Kristo Laptalo (59), master of the Coral Sea, has just been found innocent in a Greek court of any involvement in cocaine smuggling.

The judgement was made in the Patras Appellate Felony Court and vindicates the captain and those who have supported him through his 17 month ordeal.

ITF Maritime Coordinator Stephen Cotton commented: “This is justice at last for Kristo Laptalo. He has been treated as a political football for 17 months and that has finally been made to stop by his efforts, by his legal team’s and by the international campaign that raised an outcry against the abuse of justice so loud that it was heard in this courtroom today.”

He continued: “Happy though we are for him we must not forget that every seafarer is potentially in the firing line. Authorities have to learn to stop reaching for the easy option and condemning the – usually foreign – ships’ officers as a gift to public opinion when things go wrong. We cannot forget that the two officers of the Hebei Spirit are also facing possible jail sentences in Korea for something that, just as in this case, virtually everyone agrees they are innocent of.”

“We would never condone drug smuggling but it has long been clear that Captain Laptalo was not guilty of any involvement in such an activity, and we are glad that the Greek courts have now recognised this.”

He concluded: “We would like to applaud Captain MacDonald, Secretary General of the IFSMA, who testified for the Captain on our behalf, the Seafarers’ Union of Croatia and its unceasing efforts, and indeed all of those who have backed Captain Laptalo and questioned the grave injustice to which he had been subjected.”


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>


Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>