Italian prosecutors press for murder charge in Mediterranean drownings

Mohammed Ali Malek, man identified by survivors as captain of boat that capsized, killing 700, appears in Sicilian court The presumed captain of a migrant boat that sank off Libya with the loss of more than 700 lives has appeared before an Italian…


Mohammed Ali Malek, 27, has denied being in charge of the overcrowded fishing boat which capsized shortly before midnight on Saturday with hundreds of African and Bangladeshi migrants locked in its lower decks.

Prosecutors say survivors have identified him as the boat’s captain but his lawyer, Massimo Ferrante, said late on Thursday that Malek would tell judges he was a passenger on the vessel.

The Tunisian showed little emotion as the preliminary hearing began on Friday in a court in the Sicilian city of Catania, where he is likely to come face to face with a number of survivors who will be giving testimony…

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