Italian prosecutors blamed the captain of a grossly overloaded fishing boat for a collision which capsized and sank his vessel off Libya, drowning hundreds of migrants including many women and children locked below deck. The few survivors of Sunday’s tragedy told investigators how the African and Bangladeshi migrants, among hundreds of thousands trying to escape war and poverty, had waited up to a month in Libya before the boat set sail for Europe. The U.N. Security Council on Tuesday also expressed concern in a statement.
There were a little over 800 people on board, including children aged between 10 and 12. There were Syrians, about 150 Eritreans, Somalians…
Carlotta Sami, spokeswoman for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Italy
Italian police arrested a 27-year-old Tunisian, named as Mohammed Ali Malek, who is believed to have been the captain of the ship. He may be charged with multiple homicide, as well as people smuggling and causing a shipwreck. His lawyer, Massimo Ferrante, said he had spoken very briefly to Malek but language difficulties limited their contact. Ferrante added that he expected a fuller discussion of the case before a judge begins questioning witnesses on Friday to decide whether to file charges. Under Italian law, prosecutors outline the charges they believe a defendant should face before the defendant is formally charged by a judge.