The judges of the Criminal Chamber of the Provincial Court of Justice of Guayas partially accepted the appeal lodged by the defense in the case related to the vessel Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999, whose confiscation was revoked by the court and the payment of 6 million for environmental damages to be able to remove the cargo ship.
The hearing began ON November 21, 2017 at 08:10 and after arguing the reasons for the ruling, the judges of the court ratified most of the sentence by declaring the captain as material author, for whom they ordered a decrease in deprivation of liberty, from four years to three years; the three assistants were declared co-authors of the crime with a penalty of three years, while the 16 crew members were declared accomplices with a penalty of one year in prison.
Regarding the ship, the judges decided to revoke the confiscation of the vessel, based on our legislation does not allow the seizure of property of a third party who has not acted in the crime, reason for which the room resolved the return of the same prior to payment of compensation of more than six million dollars for environmental damages, according to what was established in the trial hearing. Value that the owner must deposit in the accounts of the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park so that the judge orders the delivery of the ship to the Real State.
The members of the tribunal ratified the commission of the offense established in article 247 of the criminal code, for the unauthorized passage within the Galapagos Marine Reserve, as well as the possession and transportation of protected species.
According to the court, the boat could not be comisitted because the Criminal code states that only the assets of the defendant can be seized, but the owner of the Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 was not identified or linked in the process, which is why the court decided the reparation based on article 69 of the same legal instrument, which provides for the payment of a fine for the value equivalent to the damage.
The court ratified each of the steps taken by the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park. The arguments of the defense were distorted and the respect of human rights for the crew members was demonstrated. We have acted in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution in defense of the rights of nature, “said Walter Bustos, director of the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park of the Ministry of the Environment.
The result of the hearing supports the defense of the rights of nature carried out by theDirectorate of the Galapagos National Park, which after this ruling will continue to be vigilant in the next instance, in case the defense lodges the appeal before the National Court of Justice.
The ship Fu Yuan Yu Leng 999 was intercepted and detained in mid-August when it entered the Galapagos Marine Reserve without authorization, after boarding by members of the Ecuadorian Navy and park rangers of the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park it was found that it carried an estimated load in more than 6,000 sharks of five protected species.
During the trial hearing held in San Cristóbal, the judge ordered the sentence of 1 to 4 years for the captain, assistants and crew members for the crime of transporting protected species, as well as confiscation of the vessel.
Last month, the Directorate of the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian Navy completed the process of destroying the cargo, with an inventory of the species transported, as well as the transfer of the vessel to the port of Manta, where it was delivered to the Sector’s Real Estate Management Service Public (Real estate). On October 16, the vessel was delivered to the Ecuadorian Navy for logistics tasks in the coastal strip of the country and Galápagos, through a 10-year loan. / Ministry of the Environment (I)