Insurer to bail out Mangouras

LONDON (Reuters) – The insurer of the sunken oil tanker Prestige said yesterday it would pay the 3-million-euro bail for the ship’s master who has been locked up for over two months in a Spanish jail. It said that while the company was under no obligation to put up the massive sum for 68-year-old Greek Captain Apostolos Mangouras, it would do so because of the «very special circumstances» surrounding the case. Paul Hinton, a chief executive of A Bilbrough and Co, managers of the London Protection and Indemnity Club, said the decision, which it thought unprecedented, followed very careful consideration. «Our committee, which is comprised of shipowners, has been shocked at the treatment of a man who, by all accounts, put himself at grave personal risk to do his duty in very difficult circumstances.» Hinton attacked as «offensive» the level of bail. «The court’s decision is difficult to understand, given that it has been handed down in the European Union, where human rights are said to be a cornerstone of society,» he said. The Prestige sank off Spain last November with 77,000 tons of fuel oil aboard.