Charges against Augusta Due over collision are thrown out

Raffaele Brullo, owner of Rome, Italy-based shipping company Augusta Due has been cleared after the Court of Review and the Supreme Court, and also the Court of Rome upheld a formal request made by the Italian Public Prosecutor and dismantled charges that had been raised against Brullo.

He had been accused of having concealed evidence of the alleged collision between his chemical/oil products tanker Vulcanello M (IMO 9337779) and fishing boat Nuova Iside which – according to investigators – took place on May 12th 2020 off the north-western coast of Sicily.

Brullo and Gioacchino Costaiola, said to be the vessel’s captain at the time of the alleged incident, along with the third deck officer Giuseppe Caratozzolo, were said in local reports to have been arrested by the Italian Coast Guard on February 11th 2021 following an investigation by the Palermo prosecutor’s office into the disappearance of fishing vessel Nuova Iside off San Vito, Lo Capo on May 12th 2020 (IMN February 16th 2021).

Brullo had been subject to preliminary investigations in Palermo, Sicily, where the Prosecution Office tried without success to demonstrate an attempt to conceal evidence of the collision. One charge put forward was that Brullo had ordered the hull of the ship to be repainted.

Augusta Due said that an investigation established that there was no sign of collision on the hull, and that the order of repainting the hull had been given by the owner two weeks before the alleged collision.

The Court of Review of Palermo had already revoked the precautionary measure wrongfully. The Supreme Court has now backed this up and the Public Prosecutor in Rome has decided to dismiss all proceedings against Brullo.

“by declaring absolutely groundless all accusations and restoring him to the full dignity of a correct entrepreneur, dignity of which an unfounded circumstantial investigation had publicly deprived him”, Augusta Due said.

2006-built, Italy-flagged, 7,697 gt Vulcanello M is owned and managed by Augusta Due Srl of Rome, Italy. It is entered with Gard AS on behalf of Gard AS.