Selene Leader’s Chief Engineer Pleads Guilty

first_imgThe chief engineer of the car carrier M/V Selene Leader pleaded guilty on Friday, November 14th in federal court in Baltimore, Maryland, to obstruction of justice and violating the Act to Prevent Pollution from Ships (APPS), according to Acting Assistant Attorney General Sam Hirsch and U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein of the District of Maryland.Noly Torato Vidad was the chief engineer of the vessel, which was operated by Hachiuma Steamship Co LTD, a Japanese company, between August 2013 and the end of January 2014.According to the plea agreement, in January 2014, engine room crew members of the M/V Selene Leader under the supervision of the defendant transferred oily wastes between oil tanks on board the ship using rubber hoses and then illegally bypassed pollution control equipment and discharged the oily wastes overboard into the ocean.Before such waste can be discharged into the sea, the law requires that it must first pass through an oil water separator, and the operation must be recorded in the vessel’s oil record book for inspection by the United States Coast Guard.When the Coast Guard boarded the vessel in Baltimore on Jan. 31, 2014, Mr. Vidad tried to obstruct the Coast Guard’s investigation and hide the illegal discharges of oil by falsifying the oil record book, destroying documents, lying to Coast Guard investigators and instructing subordinate crew members to lie to the Coast Guard, Public Affairs Office of US Department of Justice said in a release.Sentencing in this case is scheduled for Feb. 20, 2015.The case was investigated by the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney P. Michael Cunningham of the District of Maryland and Senior Trial Attorney David P. Kehoe of the Justice Department’s Environmental Crimes Section.Press Releaselast_img read more

Afghanistan UN mission welcomes final list of candidates for 2014 elections

“The completion of the candidate nomination period marks another important step for the Afghan people in the process of electing the country’s next leader and provincial councils,” said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMA, Ján Kubiš.The list, announced by the country’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), contains 11 presidential candidates and 2,713 provincial council candidates, with the latter including 308 women.“The candidates and their supporters bear the responsibility of fully upholding Afghan electoral laws and other relevant electoral provisions, as well as international standards for peaceful, transparent, credible, inclusive and fair elections,” said Mr. Kubiš.The Special Representative also urged the Afghan electoral and state bodies, and the candidates and their teams, to take all measures to ensure the election process and their conduct are “marked by the highest degree of integrity, free from internal and external interference and fraud – all of which are so important for the acceptance and legitimacy of the outcome of the elections.”The UN has repeatedly stressed that the elections, scheduled for 5 April 2014, must be free and fair, and enjoy wide participation. The polls are seen as a vital step in the ongoing transition in Afghanistan, which next year will also see the withdrawal of the majority of allied international military forces, with national forces assuming full responsibility for security throughout the country. read more