No charges yet in October boat accident
By: Bernadette Carreon
Two months after a fatal boat accident at the Rock Island, no criminal charges have been filed as police are again investigating the case.
Attorney General Ernestine Rengiil said that the case,” requires further investigation so Criminal Investigation Division (CID) is doing the work.” [restrict]
On Oct. 2, a tour boat carrying 25 passengers, three tour guides and a boat operator ran into a rock island in Ngermid Bay. The accident resulted in the death of one Chinese national and caused injuries to 20 passengers.
Vice President and Minister of Justice Raynold Oilouch said that initial investigation centered on whether there was intentional, reckless or negligent criminal culpability by the boat operator.
Oilouch however said, the case is not “dead” and undergoing a thorough probe to determine whether criminal charges will be filed as a result of the boat death.
Oilouch who is a lawyer by trade, admits that there was indeed “negligence” that resulted in the fatal accident but whether the matter is a criminal or civil case is still a subject of the investigation.
The case was a high profile incident with President Tommy Remengesau Jr. issuing a statement in October “expressing their regrets for this incident and convey their deepest condolences to the victims and their families.”
The government of Palau is actively cooperating with local communities, PRC mainland groups, charter parties, and other relevant organizations.
The statement stated that “the government is actively ensuring the continued safety and security of its tourism industry, and is confident that this incident will not discourage future visitors from enjoying Palau’s natural beauty.”
It added, “Palau will continue to encourage operators to follow the strict safety standards that are already in place, and will continue to review this incident to ensure any appropriate additional measures are taken.” [/restrict]