Former judge to lead Mauritius oil spill inquiry

Date: Jan 19, 2021

Mauritius has appointed a former judge to lead an inquiry into the circumstances in which a Japanese-owned vessel, the Wakashio, entered its waters and spilled hundreds of tons of oil.

The Wakashio ran aground on a coral reef in July 2020 while carrying 4 000 tons of the fuel, causing an ecological emergency off the coast of Mauritius.  

Former Judge Abdurraffeek Hamuth and his assessors will investigate the cause and extent of the damage caused by the bulk carrier.

Testimonies at the inquiry are expected to reveal how the hull of the vessel cracked.  

About 15 people have so far confirmed their participation, including opposition leader, Arvin Boolell, maritime safety expert and social activist, Bruneau Laurette, along with government officials and crew members.   

Captain Sunil Kumar Nandeshwar and his assistant Hitihamillage Subodha Janendra Tilakaratna were arrested after the vessel sunk.  

A court in October 2020 rejected an application for bail made by the captain.



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