Crown gets go-ahead to prosecute Greek shipping company in B.C. fuel spill

VANCOUVER — A Greek shipping firm accused of operating a vessel that spilled thousands of litres of fuel into Vancouver’s English Bay will be prosecuted regardless of whether it participates in the legal proceedings.

A decision filed Friday in British Columbia’s provincial court says it is “abundantly clear” that Alassia NewShips Management Inc. knew it faced 10 pollution-related offences.

The charges followed a Transport Canada investigation into the MV Marathassa, which leaked 2,700 litres of bunker fuel in April 2015.

Alassia had argued it was not properly notified about the proceedings, but Justice Kathryn Denhoff says in her written decision that the summons was successfully delivered on two occasions.

Denhoff says the summons was served to the company’s lawyer as well as to the captain of another vessel operated by Alassia, who she says qualified as a company representative despite being a contract employee.

The trial against both Alassia and the Marathassa is scheduled to begin on Feb. 26.

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