While the captain and chief officer of the ill-fated bulker Wakashio continue to be held in police custody, the Government of Mauritius is finalizing plans to hold a Court of Investigation to look into the circumstances of the grounding and the resulting widespread pollution.
“A preliminary enquiry will soon be concluded and its findings will determine a comprehensive set of terms of reference which would be presented before a Court of investigation. This Court of investigation, with at its helm an Official of the judiciary, will shed light on the circumstances that led to the grounding of MV Wakashio at Pointe d’Esny,” said Mauritius’s Attorney General and Minister of Agro-Industry and Food Security, Maneesh Gobin, at a press conference. The Minister of Energy and Public Utilities, Georges Pierre Lesjongard, and the Minister of National Infrastructure and Community Development, Mahendranuth Sharma Hurreeram, were present.
The Attorney General said that the Government’s priority is to set up the Court of investigation at the earliest possible time. Consultations are ongoing to designate the judicial Officer at this stage, he indicated.
He noted that the Government would seek the assistance of two experts in making claims on the vessel’s insurer. An environmental and social assessment of the oil spill will be carried out by one expert, while the other one will deal with the legal claims, he said.
Additionally, Mauritius will consult with other Small Island Developing States to request exemptions or special provisions in international laws relating to maritime safety.