V.Ships boss Roberto Giorgi has demanded a meeting with the head of the Korean Register over comments he made alleging that the Hebei Spirit Master and First Officer were imprisoned because they lied to investigators.
Kong-Gyun Oh, who is also Chairman of IACS, was quoted in Lloyd’s List as saying that the reason they were arrested was not because they created the situation “but the very fact that they did not tell the truth when they were investigated by the judicial branch of the Korean court system.”
Hebei Spirit master Jasprit Chawla and chief officer Syam Chetan were jailed in December over the Hebei Spirit tanker oil spill in December 2007 but are now on bail pending an appeal in mid-2009, following the tanker spill.
Speaking on the second day of the CMA Shipping 2009 conference in Stamfird, Connecticut, Roberto Giorgi reacted angrily to the comments by the head of the Korean Register and said he wanted to have a meeting with Chairman Oh to hear first hand, what allegations he had to make.
He told SMI: “It is inconceivable that after 15 months the Koreans come with something out of the blue. Maybe the guy has had his mind polluted or something has been lost in translation.
“One thing is clear, that the two officers did not lie at any time,” said Mr Giorgi.