NORMAN ATLANTIC: CONVICTION OF ANEK DIRECTORS & NORMAN ATLANTIC OFFICERS – DECISION OF FIRST INSTANCE THREE MEMBER PENAL COURT OF PIRAEUS

IMG_20160427_102305The First Instance Three Member Court of Piraeus has today issued its decision in the criminal trial for the NORMAN ATLANTIC fire.

The indicted persons were G.K., I.V. (both ANEK legal representatives and officials), P.F. (the Greek Supercargo officer), L.C. (the Chief Purser), D.S. (the Greek assistant electrician), P.S. (the Greek bosun), and five (5) lower lashing Greek crewmembers.

The crimes for which they were indicted were:

(a) manslaughter by negligence,

(b) causing of fire that resulted to danger to persons and things, and

(c) disturbance of maritime transport with danger for persons and things.

The Court convicted G.K., I.V., P.F., L.C. and P.S., and imposed the following sentences after evaluating all factors, including IMG_20141228_153937alleviating instances, merging and conjunction of several sentences that co-exist etc.:

  • G.K. and I.V. were condemned to a final total sentence of sixteen (16) years of imprisonment each, for all crimes;
  • P.F. was condemned to fourteen (14) years of imprisonment for all crimes;
  • L.C. was condemned to six (6) years of imprisonment for the crime of manslaughter for letting the door to the garage unattended; and
  • P.S. was condemned to five (5) years and two (2) months of imprisonment for illegal lashing and vehicles’ stowing.

All of the above sentences are however ex lege reduced to five (5) years, which is, after the latest amendment of the Greek Penal Code, the maximum length of sentence that a person may serve for crimes based on negligence.

The five lower lashing crew members were acquitted, on the basis that they were in fact merely executing orders.

The above condemned persons are expected to file an appeal, as a result of which their sentences will be suspended.

Extension of Validity of Residence Permits & Blue Certificates due to Coronavirus

Pursuant to Ministerial Decision No. 14119/2020 of the Minister for Migration and Asylum (FEK 1654/B/04-05-2020), residence permits and blue certificates that have already expired during 2020 (and could be legally renewed) or will expire by 30/06/2020, may be renewed at any time until 31/12/2020; their validity is automatically (ex officio) extended until the date of submission of the application for renewal, i.e. the validity of residence permits and of blue certificates is automatically extended until 31/12/2020 the latest.

Specifically, according to the aforementioned Ministerial Decision:

  1. Residence permits, issued pursuant to Law 4251/2014 and to Presidential Decree 106/2007 respectively, which expired during the period between 01 December 2019 and 11 March 2020 and were to be renewed in accordance with the provisions of Law 4251/2014 and of Presidential Decree 106/2007, and residence permits that expire(d) during the period between 12 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, may be renewed by 31 December 2020.
  2. The certificates (“blue attestations / blue certificates”) issued in accordance with articles 8 and 9 of Law 4251/2014 and the specific attestations of legal residence referred to article 25 of Law 4251/2014, which expired prior to 12 March and which were to be renewed in accordance with relevant provisions, and those expiring during the period between 13 March 2020 and 30 June 2020, may be renewed by 31 December 2020.
  3. For the time period between the expiry of the above legal titles of residence and the date of submission of application for their renewal, the respective legal titles are considered to be ex officio extended.
  4. Third-country nationals holders of a national VISA (type D VISA) who are under the obligation, during the period between 12 March 2020 and 15 May 2020, to submit an application for the award of an initial residence permit, are entitled to submit the relevant application no later than 30 September 2020.

Pursuant to Joint Ministerial Decision of the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Health and the Minister for Migration and Asylum No 3332/7.4.2020 (FEK 1297/B/10-04-2020), the operation of services requiring the reception of public in all units of aliens and immigration has been suspended until 15 May 2020, i.e. no applications for the award of an initial residence permit, for the renewal of a residence permit or for the renewal of a blue certificate can be submitted until 15 May 2020.

NORMAN ATLANTIC: Criminal Prosecutions in Greece

At the end of November 2019 the Public Prosecutor’s Office of District Court Judges of Piraeus brought criminal charges against members of the Board of Directors of ANEK S.A. and certain members of the crew onboard NORMAN ATLANTIC for the maritime tragedy of 28/12/2014. The charges are, inter alia, for the crimes of manslaughter and for negligent arson resulting to danger for things and people.

There had been a previous provision of the Piraeus Public Prosecutor’s Office deciding not to prosecute the members of the Boards of Directors of the companies (other than ANEK S.A.) comprising the consortium that issued the boat tickets for the fatal voyage, and to abstain from prosecution against members of the Italian crew due to the pending criminal proceedings in Italy.

The case is scheduled for hearing for 09/04/2020. Crew members of NORMAN ATLANTIC, the majority of passengers that survived the accident and relatives of deceased passengers, are expected to be summoned to testify as witnesses during the criminal trial. If the hearing commences on the above hearing date, it is expected to last long and continue at other dates that will be set by the Court.

NORMAN ATLANTIC – Developments in the Judicial Proceedings in Italy

1. CRIMINALTRIAL

During the proceedings at the Criminal Court of Bari in Italy in October 29-31, 2019, all the procedural and pre-trial issues and objections raised by the parties have been resolved and finalized by the Court. The Judge fixed the commencement of the substantial criminal hearing (trial) for February 26, 2020.

 

2. CIVIL TRIAL for the compensation of the victis,s

According to the time-schedule that has been fixed by the Court of Bari for the claims of the victims that are being represented from our office, written pleadings and evidence were filed on 30.9.2019 (Prima Memoria autorizzata ex art. 183, VI comma c.p.c), and on 30.10.2019 (Seconda Memoria autorizzata ex art. 183, VI comma c.p.c). On 19.11.2019 will be filed the final pleadings of the parties to proceedings, containing further arguments and rebuttal of the pleadings of the opposing parties, and the respective COURT FILE will “close”. The actual hearing of the case has been fixed for February 12, 2020 at the Tribunale di Bari, Sezione III civile.

Cooperation with the personal injury experts Irish lawyers MOLONEY & CO

Pavlakis – Moschos & Associates are pleased to announce the establishment of a close cooperation with the leading claimants’ law firm in Ireland MOLONEY & CO. SOLICITORS, for the purpose of offering expert legal services and protection to:

  • Irish tourists or business travelers who suffer accidents or get injured while visiting Greece
  • Greek tourists or business travelers who suffer accidents while in Ireland

Norman Atlantic – The Criminal Trial started on May 6, 2019

Norman Atlantic - 060519

The criminal trial concerning the tragic fire onboard the ro-ro NORMAN ATLANTIC in December 2014 started on 6 May 2019 at the Tribunale di Bari in Bitonto, Italy. Pavlakis – Moschos & Associates participates in this criminal trial on behalf of the victims represented by the firm.

In the course of the hearing, the Italian lawyers representing our clients, Avvocato Stefano Bertone and Avvocato Marco Bona, filed an oral and written application to the Judge to order the continuation of the detention of Norman Atlantic at the port of Bari (Istanza Sequestro  Probatorio M/N NORMAN ATLANTIC); the aim is to keep the ship in Bari port for eventual re-visiting and examination by technical experts, should it become necessary during the trials. The Bari Prosecutor supported our request, as did other lawyers of victims. A decision by the Judge is expected on this issue.

Norman Atlantic - Bitonto Court - 060519

The continuation of the procedure was set for May 21, 2019, when motions, objections and declarations by the defendants are expected to be raised.

Upon completion of these preliminary proceedings of the criminal trial, a Three-Member Criminal Court will enter into the substance of the criminal charges on a date to will be determined by the Court.

The civil proceedings, i.e. the trial concerning the compensation claim, filed by the 102 victims of the maritime incident who are represented by Pavlakis – Moschos & Associates Law Firm versus the NORMAN ATLANTIC  owners, managers, charterers, classification society and shipyard, is going through various stages and phases and is steadily proceeding at the Tribunale di Bari.

 The two trials, both criminal and civil, are proceeding in parallel, and our firm participates in both on behalf of our clients.

ΝORMAN ATLANTIC – The Battle Continues

20th February 2019: The trial civil on the claim filed by 102 surviving passengers and relatives of deceased passengers is developing. New issues have been raised by the defendants during the 20.2.2019 at the Bari Court. The Judge is now expected to issue an order/ intermediate decision deciding on the issues raised and fixing the new hearing date for the continuance of the trial.

The criminal trial will start in the Bari Court on 6 May 2019. Thirty two persons and entities are indicted, including high ranked management officers of the companies ANEK and VISEMAR, the master, certain officers and crew of the ship, accused for acts and omissions that caused the death of a number of passengers and subjected the surviving passengers to a horrible and traumatic experience, which resulted to psychological injuries that will never hea

NORMAN ATLANTIC: Updates on Civil Lawsuit & Criminal Proceedings

On February 20, 2019 will take place at the Court of Bari the next hearing of the civil lawsuit for the award of compensation to the survivor passengers and to the families of deceased or missing passengers of the vessel NORMAN ATLANTIC who are represented by our office. Given that the procedural issues that had been raised by various parties have now been resolved by the Court, it is expected that during the aforementioned hearing the Court will examine the substance of the case and the serious responsibilities and liabilities of the defendants.

Furthermore, with regards to the penal aspect of the case which is determined as far as the procedure is concerned by the Public Prosecutor and the Criminal Court of Bari, it has been announced that the criminal trial against the shipowners and the officers of the vessel NORMAN ATLANTIC will take place during this year. However, nohearingdateshavebeenfixedyet.

NORMAN ATLANTIC – Tribunale di Bari – July 11, 2018

The third hearing of the civil action of the NORMAN ATLANTIC maritime accident victims represented by our firm took place before the Bari Court of Italy on 11 July 2018. During this hearing, procedural and pre-litigation issues were again raised by various parties to the proceedings. The competent Judge, Carmela Romano, deemed that the resolution of these issues is necessary before the Court proceeds to examination of the substance of the case, i.e. the facts of fire on the ship, the causes and liabilities for the maritime tragedy, and the damage and losses suffered by the victims. An order / preliminary ruling is expected to be issued by the Judge shortly. The new hearing date before the Bari Court - which is expected to get into the substance of the case - will be determined by judicial order in a short time.