Zim Asia ship 298.88.
(photo credit: Channel 2)
The commander of an Israeli commercial ship that rammed a Japanese fishing boat, killing seven people, was sentenced to a year of community service in a plea bargain, Channel 2 reported.
The ship's second officer, Pilastro Zdravko, a citizen of Croatia, was in charge of the Zim Asia container ship when it crashed into the fishing boat on Sept. 28, 2005, about 25 miles off the northern coast of Japan, killing seven of the eight men on the boat.
The prosecution accepted the plea bargain because Japanese witnesses were either unable or unwilling to come to Israel to testify in a trial, Channel 2 reported.
At the magistrate's court in Haifa on Wednesday, Zdravko was sentenced to six months in prison on a charge of causing death by negligence, and the prison term was converted to a year of public service at the port, according to the report.
At first, the ship's crew denied involvement in the accident, but confessed when confronted with evidence. The behavior caused a diplomatic incident between Israel and Japan, which demanded a full investigation and punishment of those responsible.
After admitting its fault, Zim Lines apologized and pledged to cooperate with the investigation.