Thursday, 13 October 2011

RENA AGROUND | Second officer in court
[The] second officer from the MV Rena has appeared in the Tauranga District Court this morning.

The navigation officer faced the same charges as the captain under section 65 of the Maritime Transport Act which relates to operating a vessel causing unnecessary danger or risk to a person or property.

The charge carries a maximum penalty of $10,000, or a maximum term of imprisonment of 12 months.

The officer was remanded on bail with the same conditions as the ship’s captain, who appeared in the same court yesterday.

The officer’s country of origin and his age were not specified.

The man, who appeared glum as he entered the court, appeared to be of Filipino origin.

He’s been ordered to surrender his passport, granted name suppression and ordered to reappear in court on the 19th of October.

He was also bailed to unknown address and must appear daily to a nominated police station.

Judge Robert Wolff also ordered him not to associate with the skipper, other than for salvage operations.

Keith Catran, a lawyer representing TV3, challenged the suppression orders for the navigation officer.

He said “the public is entitled to openness of reporting, unless there are very clear reasons why that should not be the case.”

Mr Catran said “it’s a unique case where the victims of the defendant are the whole public and the whole community of this area. The result of the incident is in the face of everyone in this town.”

Judge Wolff said it would’ve been unfair to grant suppression for one of the crew members and not the other.

The judge said he could see “no harm in upholding the suppression order for a further week”.

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