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Case Against Filmmakers Accused of Disturbing Estonia Wreck to Be Tried Again

FILE PHOTO: Candles are seen next to the names of victims during a ceremony to mark the 25th anniversary of a maritime disaster when MS Estonia, carrying 803 passengers and 186 crew, sank in the Baltic Sea, in Tallinn, Estonia September 28, 2019. REUTERS/Ints Kalnins/File Photo

Case Against Filmmakers Accused of Disturbing Estonia Wreck to Be Tried Again

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February 15, 2022

STOCKHOLM, Feb 15 (Reuters) – A Swedish appeal court ordered on Tuesday that a district court try again a case against two film makers accused of disturbing the ferry Estonia that sank in the Baltic sea in 1994 with the loss of 852 lives.

The lower court in 2021 dismissed charges of disturbing a marine grave against the two Swedes, saying the law that protects the site did not apply to foreign-registered vessels in international waters.

The film team had in 2019 lowered a remotely operated vehicle to the Estonia from a German-flagged ship, filming the outside of the wreck.

The appeal court said in a statement it had concluded that the dives could, effectively, be tried in accordance with the so-called Estonia Act.

“Since the district court has not tried all the objections raised by the defendants, the Court of Appeal has decided that the case should be tried again by the district court,” it said.

“The (Estonia Act) law can be applied in the case. Furthermore, the Court of Appeal finds that the acts can be tried under Swedish law, regardless of whether they are punishable under German law or not.”

The ferry, carrying 803 passengers and 186 crew, sank on a stormy night on Sept. 28, 1994. An official investigation in 1997 concluded that the bow shield had failed in the strong winds and high waves, damaging the bow ramp and flooding the car deck. The ferry rapidly filled with water and sank. (Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by David Holmes)

(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2022.

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