Monday 4/12/21
MARITIME DISASTER

Prosecutor appeals acquittal for duo of violating M/S Estonia grave

The two Swedes were part of a team working on a documentary that filmed the wreck, but were detected by a Finnish Border Guard vessel.

The M/S Estonia. Image: Youtube/screenshot.
The M/S Estonia. Image: Youtube/screenshot.

A Swedish prosecutor on Wednesday appealed the recent acquittal of two men charged with violating a maritime grave site by diving near the wreck of a Baltic Sea passenger ferry that sank in 1994, claiming 852 lives.

The two, Henrik Evertsson and Linus Andersson, had denied any wrongdoing during the trial at the Gothenburg district court.

The court ruled on February 8 that, although the duo had violated a Swedish law banning diving at the wreck, the law was not applicable since the acts were conducted from a German-flagged vessel on international waters and Germany is not a party to the law.

In a statement, prosecutor Helene Gestrin said she believed the law was applicable.

At the trial, she called for a suspended sentence and for the duo to be fined.

The two Swedes were part of a film team working on a documentary. In September 2019, they lowered a diving robot from a German boat and filmed the wreck, but were detected by a Finnish Border Guard vessel.

Unseen images of holes

Footage from the dive appeared in a recent documentary and showed previously unseen images of two large holes in the hull of the M/S Estonia, sparking renewed interest in what is considered Europe's worst maritime disaster since World War II.

The ferry was en route from Tallinn to Stockholm when a storm ripped off the bow door. Of the 989 people on board, only 137 survived the September 28, 1994, ordeal.

Estonia, Finland and Sweden have said they would conduct a joint investigation led by Estonia, the ship's flag state.

Sweden recently started amending a law banning diving at the wreck.

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