InterManager, the international trade association for the shipmanagement industry, has applauded the release of the two Chinese officers detained in Norway following the oil-spill incident involving the bulker Full City.
A Norwegian appeal court has ruled the ship’s Master Zong Aming and Chief Officer Qilanng Lu may have their passports returned on payment of a bail of NOK 1m ($178,000) each. This will enable the seafarers to return home to China to await a further court hearing in Norway next spring.
Roberto Giorgi, President of InterManager, said: “This is an important and very welcome decision. It is right that the two seafarers should be allowed to return home to await trial.”
InterManager, which led calls for the fair treatment of the Hebei Spirit officers earlier this year, has worked with the International Transport Workers Federation (ITF) to campaign for the return of the passports, insisting seafarers should not be assumed guilty without a fair trial. Defence lawyers for the Full City officers have argued the two men’s alleged negligence did not warrant pre-trial detention and claimed the men have suffered stress while detained in Norway.