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German migrant rescue ship captain challenges Malta conviction

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This was confirmed by a spokesman for the organisation, based in the eastern German city of Dresden, on Tuesday.

“The ship, named Lifeline, had been correctly registered, meaning Captain Claus-Peter Reisch is innocent,’’ the spokesman said.

The native Bavarian was handed a fine of 10,000 Euros (11,150 dollars) a week ago in Valletta, which he was ordered to donate to local relief organisations.

He was accused of having captained an improperly registered boat.

Reisch rescued over 230 migrants from the Mediterranean off the Libyan coast in June with the Lifeline, which sailed under the Dutch flag.

“We have to assume, unfortunately, that the appeal will also not bring a just verdict to light,’’ spokesman Axel Steier told dpa.

Report says the NGO sees political influence on the court decision.

“The evidence that the Lifeline was properly registered at the time of the prosecution was not recognised by the court.

“Likewise my plea and the submission of the mails with the registration were not recognised. From this we conclude that Malta has no independent judiciary,’’ Steier said.

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