(dpa/GNA) – A human trafficker implicated in a fatal migrant shipwreck has been handed a life sentence by a Sicilian court, the first-ever such ruling by an Italian court, national media reported Wednesday.

ImmigrantsThe ruling against Haj Hammouda Radouan, of Tunisia, found guilty of multiple counts of manslaughter, was delivered late on Tuesday by a judge in Catania, several newspapers, including La Repubblica and Corriere della Sera, reported.


The court sentenced another trafficker, Hamid Bouchab, of Morocco, to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The pair was judged responsible for a May 12, 2014 shipwreck about 50 nautical miles (93 kilometers) off Libyan shores and some 100 nautical miles south of the island of Lampedusa, Italy’s southernmost point.

The Italian navy picked up 206 survivors and the bodies of 17 victims, including a baby girl who was a few months old.

Prosecutors in Catania welcomed the ruling, noting how it made legal history, since it established Italian authorities’ jurisdiction over deadly shipwrecks in international waters.

Investigations into the shipwreck were launched in Catania because survivors and the bodies of the victims were disembarked there.

It was not immediately clear whether the landmark ruling was going to be appealed.



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