More than four years after the tragedy, the verdict in the trial was delivered on Tuesday. Judge Leona Németh ruled that Yuriy Chaplinsky is guilty of the Mermaid disaster. The captain was acquitted on the charges of failing to render assistance.
The criminal case against Yuriy Chaplinsky for causing the shipwreck on the Danube on May 29, 2019, has reached its conclusion at the Pest Central District Court.
The Hungarian sightseeing ship Mermaid was sunk by the Norwegian-owned, Swiss-registered hotel ship Viking Sigyn on a rainy, stormy evening.
Of the thirty-five South Korean passengers on board, seven survived the accident, while twenty-seven, including the Hungarian crew of two, died in the Danube.
A middle-aged South Korean woman disappeared without a trace and her body has not been found since. These facts indicated the Ukrainian captain’s trial, who having been under criminal supervision, could have been sentenced to even nine years imprisonment. Yet he was only given a sentence of five years and six months.
The captain of the Viking Sigyn was tried for the offenses of reckless endangerment of water transport resulting in a fatal public accident, and 35 counts of failure to render assistance. According to the indictment, the captain was not paying attention in the five minutes before the collision, even though he was steering the hotel boat, and Sigyn’s radar was not even on.
At the beginning of September, the prosecutor upheld all charges in his speech against Yuri Chaplinsky in the criminal trial. It was only last Monday that the defendant’s lawyer asked for his client’s acquittal for lack of evidence or criminal offense. In his opening remarks, he repeatedly suggested that László Lombos, the captain of the Mermaid, was responsible for what happened.
Yuriy Chaplinsky has been under house arrest and criminal supervision for four years and is required to wear a tracking device. According to Magyar Nemzet, the captain’s entire family has moved to Hungary from Sevastopol, and all of them intend to stay, at least until the end of the war.
Via: mno.hu Featured photo: wikimedia.org