Cairo (AP) — Egyptian Court of Appeals said on Sunday that it had no jurisdiction to investigate demands supporting monetary claims that led to the seizure of a giant Evergiven vessel after the Suez Canal Authority closed the waterway in March. It was.
Authorities and shipowners are arguing over who is responsible for the ship’s grounding on the canal connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea, and how much compensation should be paid.
The Court of Appeals of the Ismailia Economic Court has referred the case to a lower court to determine the legality of the seizure of Evergiven until the claim for compensation between the Suez Canal Authority and Shoei Kisen, the Japanese owner of the ship, has been resolved. did. According to Hazem Barakat, a lawyer representing the owner of the ship.
There was no immediate comment from the canal authorities.
Evergiven was on his way to Rotterdam Port in the Netherlands on March 23 when he crashed into a one-lane bank of the canal about 6 km (3.7 miles) north of the south entrance near the city of Suez.
Massive efforts by the tugboat fleet, helped by the ebb and flow of the tide, released skyscraper-sized vessels after six days, ending the crisis and allowing hundreds of waiting vessels to cross the canal. did.
Since its release, Panama-flagged vessels carrying cargo between Asia and Europe have been ordered by authorities to remain in the lake in the center of the canal as owners, and canal authorities are trying to resolve compensation disputes.
Initially, the Suez Canal Authority demanded $ 916 million in compensation, but it was later reduced to $ 600 million, said Lieutenant General Osama Rabbie, head of the canal authority, in a comment on the television show earlier this month. It was.
The amount of compensation takes into account the cost of rescue operations, canal traffic stagnation, and the loss of transportation costs during the week that Evergiven closed the canal.
Bernard Schulte Shipmanagement, a ship technology management company, said in April that the Suez Canal Authority did not provide detailed justification for claims and was “very large.”
Barakat, a lawyer, said the next court hearing on the case would take place on May 29.
On Saturday, a lawyer representing the ship’s owner accused the canal authorities of grounding the ship, alleging that it did not provide evidence of the ship’s crew’s negligence. They also argued that canal authorities should not have allowed his vessel to navigate the waterways in bad weather.
According to Barakat, a voyage data recorder, also known as a ship’s black box, recorded discussions between canal pilots and their control centers as to whether they should be allowed to cross the canal.
Barakat also confirmed that shipowners, as part of it, demanded $ 100,000 as initial compensation for losses associated with their seizures.
A Suez Canal Authority spokesperson did not answer Sunday’s call for comment. The canal has repeatedly denied cheating.
A six-day blockage disrupted global shipments. Some vessels were forced to take a long alternative route around the Cape of Good Hope at the southern tip of Africa, requiring additional fuel and other costs. Hundreds of other ships were waiting for the blockage to end.
About 10% of world trade flows through canals, the main source of foreign currency for Egypt. According to official statistics, about 19,000 ships crossed the canal last year.
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No court decision on Suez Canal’s allegations against giant ships | WGN Radio 720
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