Sharp to stand trial this week

Three years on since the country’s worst maritime disaster, owner and managing director of Rabaul Shipping Peter Sharp will stand trial at the Kokopo National Court this week.

Sharp and three others, the MV Rabaul Queen Captain Anthony Tsiau, Tsiau Micheal Zirau and Kimbe Port manager Grace Amen will stand trial for 171 counts of manslaughter and one count each for sending an unworthy vessel out to sea in 2012.

The charge of manslaughter under section 302 of the Criminal Code of PNG carries a penalty of life imprisonment, while the charge of sending an unworthy ship out to sea under section 331 of the Criminal Code carries an imprisonment term not exceeding 14 years.

They are all expected back in court today (Monday).

The sinking of the MV Rabaul Queen on February 2, 2012, killed at least 171 people which included children and students who were on their way to the start of the 2012 academic year.

The overloaded vessel sank in the Vitiaz strait, along the coast between the island of New Britain and the Huon Peninsula, off the coast of Morobe.


Picture of the MV Rabaul Queen before it sank in 2012 

Sally Pokiton