Greek Maritime Officer Acquitted in Pollution Trial

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A jury in Houston federal court cleared Greek maritime officer Ioannis Mylonakis of charges that he engineered the dumping of oil tanker waste off of the Texas coast in early 2009, according to the Berg & Androphy law firm.

The jury rejected claims by U.S. Department of Justice Environmental Crimes Section that Mylonakis, as chief engineer of the 40,000-ton M/T Georgios M, ordered his crew to use a so-called "magic pipe" to bypass pollution control equipment and discharge sludge and oily waste into the seas near Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas.

Mylonakis is represented by lead attorneys Joel Androphy and Kathryn Nelson, of Berg & Androphy, of Houston, and assisted by George M. Chalos and George A. Gaitas, of the Chalos & Co., P.C., of New York.

Eight crewmembers testified for the government that Mr. Mylonakis orchestrated the magic pipe bypass during his tenure on the vessel. The defense team demonstrated that the crew misled the government about the involvement of Mylonakis in return for grants of immunity. The jury found that the Filipino crewmembers were not credible.

In an extraordinary ruling, presiding Judge Kenneth Hoyt struck the testimony of the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab's expert chemist, ruling it confusing and irrelevant. Mylonakis' defense presented a letter from a former whistleblower alerting the government to the use of "magic pipe" equipment in 2006, but there was no indication of a subsequent investigation by the Coast Guard or the DOJ. A crew witness who signed the letter testified it was prepared and signed as revenge against a former company official.

Joel M. Androphy said, "This is an extremely rare defense victory. What we showed demonstrated that the crew misled the government about the involvement of Chief Mylonakis in return for grants of immunity. There was good reason that he defiantly testified in his own defense and loudly protested the charges. He is innocent. Justice was finally done today."

The defense team said Mylonakis - a 48-year-old married father who had not seen his daughter in more than a year while being held in the U.S. - has had an exemplary 30-year maritime career.

The case is "U.S. v. Mylonakis," Case No. 4:09-cr-00492, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas.

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Legal

US Plans to Shut Royalty Loophole on Coal Exports

U.S. coal companies will no longer be able to settle royalties at low domestic prices when they make lucrative sales to Asia according to reforms proposed by the Interior Department on Friday.

Denmark Issues New Pilotage Regulations

In an effort to make the pilotage market more efficient, the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) issued several new regulations following on amendments to the pilotage act.

US Shippers, West Coast Dockworkers Union Resume Contract Talks

Negotiators for shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 U.S. West Coast ports resumed contract talks with the union for dockworkers on Thursday, as cargo backups continued at the ports,

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Navigation Offshore Oil Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Simulators Sonar
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.1044 sec (10 req/sec)