Greek’s Karachi torment grows

KARACHI (AP) – The detained engineer of a Greek oil tanker that ran aground off Pakistan’s southern coast last year, spilling thousands of gallons of oil, tried to take his own life after months in Pakistani custody, officials said yesterday. Giorgos Koutsos is among five crew members of the MT Tasman Spirit detained since the ship ran aground in July in the port of Karachi, losing some 28,000 metric tons of crude oil in the country’s worst-ever spill. Koutsos slit his wrist on Monday night at a hotel where he and the other men are held under house arrest, said Omar Shahid Hamid, an assistant superintendent of police in Karachi. He said the engineer was in stable condition in hospital. [Greece’s Merchant Marine Ministry confirmed the attempt.] «We have registered a case against him for attempting to commit suicide,» Hamid said. In Pakistan, attempted suicide is punishable by up to several years in jail. Athens has urged Pakistan to release and return the seamen. Pakistan is seeking $1 billion in damages from Malta-based Assimina Maritime Ltd, the vessel’s owners.

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