A Budapest court has ordered the Ukrainian captain of a cruise ship which collided with a sightseeing boat in central Budapest last spring to be released from custody and placed back in house arrest, a spokesman for the municipal chief prosecutor’s office said on Monday.
Ferenc Rab said the court’s ruling went against the prosecution’s position, adding, however, that the prosecutor’s office has “exhausted all its procedural options for the time being”.
On May 29, the Viking Sigyn cruise ship collided with the Hableány (Mermaid) sightseeing boat with 33 South Korean tourists on board and a crew of two Hungarians. Seven tourists were rescued from the water after the collision and the rest died. The body of one of the accident’s 28 victims has still not been recovered.
Last November, Budapest’s 6th and 7th district prosecutor pressed charges against the captain of criminal misconduct leading to mass casualties and 35 counts of failing to provide assistance after the collision.
In December the Pest Central District Court ordered the captain to be held in custody, citing the risk that he could flee to Ukraine and would not be extradited.
Featured photo by Márton Mónus/MTI