Malta court fines German NGO Lifeline captain

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VALLETTA, Malta (AP) — A Maltese court has fined the captain of the German humanitarian ship that rescued more than 200 migrants because it entered the Mediterranean island nation’s waters last year with a ship that was not properly registered.

Though the court opted Tuesday against jailing the captain, Claus-Peter Reisch, due to the humanitarian backdrop, it did impose a fine of 10,000 euros ($11,300).

Reisch has eight days to decide whether to appeal the fine.

The court also denied a prosecution motion to confiscate the vessel.

The Lifeline has been in a Maltese port since last June, and will be free to leave once any appeal is settled.

Malta agreed to give it safe harbor following a six-day standoff, but only after Italy and other EU nations agreed to take in the migrants.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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