Spain pressed to let Prestige captain free

Over a year after the Prestige tanker sank in the Atlantic, causing Spain’s worst ever oil spill, Greece has increased pressure on the Spanish government to ease the bail terms on the ship’s Greek captain. In a letter to his Spanish counterpart, Justice Minister Philippos Petsalnikos called for 69-year-old Apostolos Mangouras to be allowed to leave Spain following a forced stay of 14 months. «This is a man with no criminal record… of whom it was recognized that his personal efforts helped reduce the consequences of the sinking,» The Associated Press quoted the letter as saying yesterday. Mangouras was arrested immediately after the November 2002 shipwreck, and only released on bail of 3 million euros. He has been banned from leaving Spain. Greece has accused Spain of acting like «a Third World state,» and treating Mangouras as a scapegoat for its own mistakes.

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