[WATCH] Update 2 | Magistrate leads inspection of MV Lifeline

The experts have surveyed the ship and its computers as part of proceedings against captain Claus-Peter Reisch • Court to give a decree tomorrow on whether the captain will be allowed to leave Malta for a few days

Magistrate Joe Mifsud arrives at the on-site inspection
Magistrate Joe Mifsud arrives at the on-site inspection
Court experts make their way to Lifeline ship for on-site inspection

Magistrate Joe Mifsud led an on-site inspection of the MV Lifeline as part of proceedings currently underway against its captain Claus-Peter Reisch.

Reisch is facing charges in a Maltese court over the ship's irregular registration. The Lifeline was accused of acting as a rescue vessel when it is registered as a pleasure craft in the Netherlands.

Mifsud was accompanied by a number of court experts during this morning's visit, during which the ship and its computers were surveyed.

Ship captain Claus-Peter Reisch onboard the Lifeline during an on-site inspection
Ship captain Claus-Peter Reisch onboard the Lifeline during an on-site inspection

Mifsud is expected to give a decree tomorrow on whether Reisch should be allowed to leave Malta for a few days to visit his mother. The captain's passport has been deposited with the court since the start of proceedings a fortnight ago.

READ ALSO: Lifeline's registration with a Dutch yacht club did not give it flag status, court hears

The investigation was called for by magistrate Joe Mifsud who appointed the experts. The defence objected, insisting this had nothing to do with the charges but Magistrate Mifsud insisted the court had discretion on the matter.

The court appointed Pierre Zammit Endrich and Martin Bajada to inspect the contents of the vessel and its computers.

Experts and police during an on-site inspection of the Lifeline
Experts and police during an on-site inspection of the Lifeline

On Tuesday morning, experts and police made their way to the ship for the inspection. Defence lawyer, Gianluca Cappitta, Police inspector Mario Haber, and expert Martin Bajada, were present. 

The captain was accused by Prime Minister Joseph Muscat of precipitating the Lifeline crisis when he ignored orders from the Rome rescue coordination centre last month. Muscat said Reisch was largely responsible for the situation.

During the court case, it was confirmed that the ship was only registered as a pleasure yacht with a Dutch yacht club.   

READ ALSO: Lifeline captain's sea licence was for coastal waters, court hears

The Lifeline was at the centre of an international controversy in the last few weeks after both Malta and Italy refused to allow it to dock and take responsibility for the migrants.

More in Court & Police

Get access to the real stories first with the digital edition

Subscribe