Thursday, October 05, 2006
The commander of an Israeli commercial ship that rammed a Japanese fishing boat, killing seven people, was sentenced Wednesday to a year of community service in a plea bargain, an Israeli TV station reported. The ship's second officer, Pilastro Zdravko, a citizen of Croatia, was in charge of the Zim Asia container ship when it crashed into the fishing boat on Sept. 28, 2005, about 25 miles off the northern coast of Japan, killing seven of the eight men on the boat.
Pilastro ZdravkoThe prosecution accepted the plea bargain because Japanese witnesses were either unable or unwilling to come to Israel to testify in a trial, Channel 2 TV reported. At the magistrate's court in the port city of Haifa on Wednesday, Zdravko was sentenced to six months in prison on a charge of causing death by negligence, and the prison term was converted to a year of public service at the port, the TV report said. Zim AsiaAt first, the ship's crew denied involvement in the accident, but confessed when confronted with evidence. The behavior caused a diplomatic incident between Israel and Japan, which demanded a full investigation and punishment of those responsible. After admitting its fault, the Zim company apologized and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.