Rabaul Queen owner committed to stand trial

9:56 am on 10 April 2015

The owner of an overloaded ferry that sank in Papua New Guinea in 2012, killing at least 173 people, has been committed to stand trial at the National Court.

Peter Sharp will stand trial over the sinking of the Rabaul Queen in rough seas in Morobe Province, after he was charged with 171 counts of manslaughter and for sending an unseaworthy vessel out to sea.

Also committed to stand trial on the same charges were the ship's captain, Anthony Tsiau, chief mate Michael Zirau, and the former PNG Ports Kimbe branch port manager Grace Amen.

The Post Courier reports the judge refused an application by the defence to have the manslaughter charges struck out because of their ambiguity.

A date for the trial is yet to be set.