Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Remand Hearing by Daejeon Appeal could take another half-year. The Hebei Two Need Your Support - Today!

The international shipping industry has a chance to take a great step forward by demonstrating their unified support against the injustice shown to the Hebei Two.

The appeal to have the existing bail conditions amended, by having the exit ban imposed on the Hebei Two lifted and allowing the two men to return home while awaiting the remand hearing, seems set to once again fall on deaf ears.

There is a chance, however, to press the issue by appealing to the Daejeon Appeals Court. We are asking that the Remand Hearings be heard within the next two to three weeks, in a single hearing, so a swift declaratory judgment can be issued.

This would allow the Hebei Two to leave Korea within a month. However, this procedure would be unusual as it normally takes between three to six months to schedule and complete such a Remand Hearing.

That is why the Hebei Two need your support! How?

By sending a fax, respectfully requesting the Court to expedite the hearing and letting the Hebei Two return to their homes after one and a half years of detention in Korea. Please see the draft below as an example or use your own words.

Fax your letter of support to the:

Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Korea
Fax: +822 536 0375.

To the Chief Justice of Korea

We strongly object to the one and a half year stay the Korean Authorities have imposed on the Master and Chief Officer of the Hebei Spirit. Both officers have young families and have complied fully with all demands made on them, including cash, corporate and diplomatic guarantees.

Despite this, they have still not been permitted to visit their homes in India, even on a temporary basis.

They are not criminals.

We hope that this honourable Court will expedite the remand hearing and allow the Master and Chief Officer to return to their homes, families and communities at the earliest opportunity.

The continued exit ban on the Master and Chief Officer of the Hebei Spirit has long been noticed by all in the international maritime industry and all of us, regardless of nationality, have noticed the profound and serious effect - with international reverberations - that this case is having on the global shipping industry.

We humbly ask you to please expedite this last Remand Hearing and bring this case to a close, without further delay.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Company name

Show the Daejeon District Court that the international maritime community cares. That after one and a half years of enforced stay in Korea, the shipping community, worldwide, has not forgotten the injustice metered out to the Hebei Two when they were accused of criminal acts for:

a/ avoiding a collision between the Samsung Marine Spread and their vessel,

b/ prioritising the safety of the crew and seaworthiness of their vessel – above that of attempting to minimize the oil spill, one breached tank at a time while the out of control Samsung Barge bounced along the hull of the VLCC in heavy seas, strong winds and in the dark hours of the morning.

Fax the Supreme Court of Korea today and demand a speedy and just conclusion to this highly politicised case that has dragged on for far too long over the past one and a half years.

Print the above draft, or words to that effect, on your company letterhead and fax to the Korean Supreme Court.

Then, please circulate this blog among your colleagues.

Let the international maritime community flood the faxes of the Supreme Court of Korea!


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