[WATCH] Lifeline captain 'livid' as Attorney General fails to follow European regulations

Defence lawyers called out the Attorney General's 'incompetence' on the particular case as he used the wrong format in questions made to Dutch authorities, delaying the case further • Magistrate 'embarrassed' by delay

Lifeline Captain, Claus-Peter Reisch, is “livid and exasperated” being the accused of acting as a rescue vessel without the proper registration, his defence lawyer, Cedric Mifsud said outside of court on Thursday morning.

The captain returned to court this morning, facing charges over the ship's irregular registration, after saving 240 migrants from the Mediterranean back in July.

The Lifeline was accused of acting as a rescue vessel when it is registered as a pleasure craft in the Netherlands.

Defence lawyer Mifsud explained that the Attorney General and the prosecution were due to present replies made by the Dutch authorities to the questions made by the prosecution and the defence, however, it these questions were not even transmitted properly in the correct format to the Dutch authorities.

It transcribed that the Dutch authorities rejected the questions because European regulations were not followed by the Attorney General.

“This demonstrates the incompetence of the Attorney General in this particular case,” his lawyer said. “If it was for the AG, Reisch would not even be allowed to go back to Germany between hearings.”

Defence lawyer Neil Falzon also said that it was unacceptable that the case was being dragged on due to the incompetence of the AG, that the captain has to keep coming to Malta for “wasted sittings”, and that the MV Lifeline was stuck in Malta unable to save lives because of the prosecuting office.

“We hope that the AG will do his job so we can proceed forward with this case and have it closed soon,” the lawyers said.

During the hearing, Magistrate Joe Mifsud was particularly peeved.

“I’m embarrassed with this situation. I’d have dealt with this case in two weeks,” he said.

Before the sitting, crew members of MV Lifeline and Seawatch 3, led by Captain Claus-Peter Reisch carried a coffin draped in the EU flag,  highlighting the 'death' of EU legislation and human rights. 

The next sitting will be on 11 September.