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Greek court convicts 9 over cruise ship sinking

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July 31, 2013 04:06 PM EST | AP


ATHENS, Greece — A Greek court has convicted nine officers and shipping company officials of negligence in the sinking of a cruise ship off the resort island of Santorini more than six years ago.

The Piraeus court imposed suspended sentences Wednesday ranging from six months to just over 12 years, and acquitted another four defendants.

Louis Hellenic Cruises' Sea Diamond, carrying some 1,600 people, hit rocks off Santorini's cliffs in April 2007 and sank hours later. Two French passengers were never found and are presumed drowned.

The court imposed the strictest sentence, 12 years and two months, on the ship's captain for causing an accident, negligence that led to manslaughter, and marine pollution.

Lawyer Stelios Papandreopoulos, who represented Santorini local authorities, said the accident could have led to hundreds of deaths.