Case against Swedes accused of disturbing the wreckage of Estonia

A Swedish appeals court on Tuesday ordered a district court to retry a case against two filmmakers accused of disrupting the Estonia ferry that sank in the Baltic Sea in 1994 with the loss of 852 lives.

In 2021, the lower court dismissed charges of disturbing a sea grave against the two Swedes, saying the law that protects the site did not apply to foreign-registered vessels in international waters.

The film crew had in 2019 lowered a remote-controlled vehicle to Estonia from a German-flagged vessel, filming the exterior of the wreck.

The appeals court said in a statement that it had concluded that the dives could indeed be tried under so-called Estonian law.

“As the district court did not adjudicate all of the objections raised by the defendants, the Court of Appeal decided that the case should be retried in the district court,” he said. .

“(Estonian) law can be applied in the present case. Furthermore, the Court of Appeal holds that the acts can be tried under Swedish law, whether or not they are punishable under German law.”

The ferry, carrying 803 passengers and 186 crew, sank on a stormy night on September 28, 1994. An official investigation in 1997 concluded that the bow shield had broken in the high winds and high waves, damaging the bow ramp and flooding the car. platform. The ferry quickly filled with water and sank.

(Reuters – Reporting by Anna Ringstrom; Editing by David Holmes)

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