Trial opens in PNG's Rabaul Queen case

12:02 pm on 11 April 2016
The Rabaul Queen

The Rabaul Queen Photo: Supplied

The trial of the owner of the ill-fated inter-island ferry the Rabaul Queen, which killed at least 170 people when it sank off Papua New Guinea in 2012, is due to begin today.

The managing director of Rabaul Shipping, Peter Sharp, will stand trial in Kokopo, alongside four others.

The five accused have been charged with 171 counts of manslaughter and one count of sending an unseaworthy vessel out to sea.

The MV Rabaul Queen sank in rough seas in Morobe province in February 2012, killing at least 170 people, although a final figure has never been established.

A commission of inquiry later found that the ship was grossly overloaded, unsafe and should never have been allowed to operate on its final voyage.

The trial is expected to last about two weeks.

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