The captain of the Viking Sigyn cruise ship which collided with a sightseeing boat in central Budapest killing 28 people is back in police custody on suspicion of failing to provide assistance after the collision.
Last month, the 64-year-old Ukrainian captain of the Viking Sigyn was taken into custody on suspicion of criminal misconduct, but was later released on a bail of 15 million HUF (EUR 45,800). The municipal court ruling granting the captain’s release also obliged him to remain in Budapest.
On Monday, police said the captain had been taken into custody again and was being interrogated on suspicion of abandoning the passengers and crew of the Hableány sightseeing boat after the crash. The captain’s return to custody comes after a resolution by the Kúria, Hungary’s supreme court, saying that the decision by lower courts to release him on bail had been unlawful.
According to MTI, the case went to the top court after the prosecutor asked the Kúria to declare the captain’s bail release unlawful, arguing that he posed a flight risk and the Hungarian authorities had no information on his place of residence in Hungary. The prosecutor also underlined the risk of evidence tampering, pointing out that the captain deleted data from his mobile phone after the collision.
The defense countered saying that the captain’s place of residence was in fact known to the authorities and that he had not deleted any data from his phone. The captain’s attorney said at Monday’s hearing that his client had been “made a public enemy” despite his right to enjoy the presumption of innocence.
Photo credit: 444.hu