3 tied to coal ship detained in Virginia indicted

Friday - 5/24/2013, 10:41am EDT

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) -- A federal grand jury has indicted the owner, operator and chief engineer of a Maltese-flagged coal ship that has been detained in Virginia since April over alleged environmental violations.

The Virginian-Pilot reported (http://bit.ly/Zig5nz ) Friday that the indictment names Malta-based owner Angelex Ltd, Liberian operator Kassian Maritime Navigation Agency Ltd. and the ship's chief engineer, Lamros Katsipis.

The charges include conspiracy, falsification of records and obstruction of justice.

The owner has battled the U.S. Coast Guard in court since the ship and its crew were detained. A federal judge in Norfolk ordered the ship freed for a $1.5 million bond -- half of what the Coast Guard originally demanded. The Coast Guard has appealed.

Oral arguments are scheduled for June 25 in Lewisburg, W.Va.

Katsipis' attorney says he denies the charges.

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