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 October 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds


NYK Joanna Rescues Fishermen off Philippines Coast

On October 3, NYK Joanna, a containership operated by NYK, rescued seven fishermen in distress off the coast of the Philippines. While the NYK vessel was sailing on October 3 from Vungtau,

Noreco CEO Quits

Norwegian Energy Company ASA (Noreco) announces that Tommy Sundt is stepping down as CEO of Noreco ASA. Since joining Noreco in September 2014, Tommy Sundt

BSM Completes Global Management Program

Bibby Ship Management has successfully completed its second Global Management Programme which, it says, has helped to develop the management skills of all its

Maritime Contracts Maritime Security Naval Architecture Pipelines Port Authority Salvage Ship Electronics Ship Repair Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | 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: 0.1360 sec (7 req/sec)