CAIRO: Attorney General Hisham Barakat has ordered the name of Mamdouh Ismaiel, owner of El-Salam 98 ferry which sank in the Red Sea with over 1,000 passengers onboard in 2006, to be delisted from the arrival list of wanted figures in Egyptian ports, judicial sources told Al-Ahram Thursday.
Barakat notified Hurghada Court of Appeals to drop the “expired” 7-year sentence, formerly handed down to Ismaiel in March 2009 for his “gross negligence”, as five years had passed since the court ruling was issued by the Red Sea Misdemeanor Court, according to Al-Ahram.
Ismaiel, who was a parliament member, has disappeared and reportedly travelled abroad to an unknown destination.
The source said that the Interpol has been notified to remove Ismail’s name from the wanted figures lists as well adding that “Ismail could return to Egypt anytime as long as there are no judicial rulings against him.”
On its way back from Saudi port of Duba to Egypt’s Safaga Port on 2 February 2006, el-Salam 98 sank near the international territorial waters of the Red Sea with at least 1415 passengers onboard, including 1310 Egyptians out of which 1,033 passengers drowned, according to Al-Masry Al-Youm.
On the day after the accident, hundreds of corpses were found floating in the Red Sea.
Preliminary investigations said that a fire broke out in the engine room before it spread to other parts of the ferry. It was also reported that the renovations, carried out in the 19802 were to be blamed for the incident.