The Greek captain of the Prestige tanker that sank off Spain in 2002, causing a huge oil spill, was denied the shipping world’s top award late on Wednesday after sympathetic judges ruled it would be inappropriate to examine his nomination while a court case is pending against him. Apostolos Mangouras, 69, was imprisoned by Spanish authorities after the accident and charged with disobeying authorities and causing an ecological disaster. He was eventually released on bail of 3 million euros, but banned from leaving Spain pending trial. A large number of fellow captains nominated him for the Nautical Institute Shipmaster of the Year award. But yesterday, while noting that the captains’ sympathy for Captain Mangouras «is shared by Lloyd’s List and the Nautical Institute,» Lloyd’s List newspaper, which organized the awards, said the nomination had been rejected.