Indonesia names captain, three officials as suspects in deadly ferry disaster

Villagers and Muslim clerics throw flowers after praying for the missing passengers of the ferry which sank earlier this week at Lake Toba in Simalungun, North Sumatra. Indonesian authorities have yet to decide whether to raise the boat, which was located at a depth of around 450 meters. (Reuters)
Updated 26 June 2018

Indonesia names captain, three officials as suspects in deadly ferry disaster

JAKARTA: Indonesian police have named four people as suspects in a criminal probe into the sinking of an overloaded ferry on a volcanic lake in which it is believed some 200 people died.
The vessel sank in rough weather on Lake Toba on Sumatra island last week, leaving three confirmed dead and nearly 200 missing, in one of Indonesia’s deadliest ferry disasters in nearly a decade.
North Sumatra police chief Paulus Waterpauw confirmed to Reuters the vessel’s captain and three port and transportation officials were being investigated for violating laws on shipping services.
“Their method was to make as much profit as possible by stuffing the vessel beyond capacity,” he said, according to media.
He added the ferry, called Sinar Bangun, did not have a sailing permit, was not seaworthy, and did not fulfill safety standards.
The ferry may have been carrying nearly five times the number of passengers it was designed for and dozens of motorcycles. Eighteen people, including the captain, survived the accident.
If prosecuted the suspects face up to 10 years in prison and a 1.5 billion rupiah ($105,000) fine.
Recovery teams using underwater drones on the weekend estimated the location of the sunken ferry at a depth of around 450 meters (1,476 feet).
Most victims are believed to be trapped inside. Authorities have yet to decide whether to raise the boat, as divers will not be able to descend to such depths, officials said.


Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint

Updated 39 min 5 sec ago

Islamic scholar Tariq Ramadan targeted by new rape complaint

  • A woman in her 50s accused Ramadan of raping her along with a member of his staff
  • He has been charged in France with raping two women previously

PARIS: Tariq Ramadan, a leading Islamic scholar charged in France with raping two women, has also been accused of taking part in the gang rape of a journalist, French judicial sources said Sunday.
The sources confirmed reports on Europe 1 radio and in Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper that a woman in her 50s had accused Ramadan, 56, of raping her along with a member of his staff when she went to interview the academic at a hotel in Lyon in May 2014.
The woman, who filed a criminal complaint in May 2019, also accused Ramadan of issuing “threats or acts of intimidation” aimed at dissuading her from reporting the alleged attack to the police, the judicial sources added.
Ramadan, a married father of four whose grandfather founded Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, was a professor at Oxford University until he was forced to take leave when rape allegations surfaced at the height of the “Me Too” movement in late 2017.
He has denied charges he raped a disabled woman in 2009 and a feminist activist in 2012.
He was taken into custody in February 2018 and held for nine months before being granted bail.
Authorities in Switzerland are also investigating him after receiving a rape complaint in that country.
His lawyer, Emmanuel Marsigny, refused to comment Sunday on the latest allegations against him in France.
The woman behind the latest complaint told police that Ramadan and a male assistant repeatedly raped her in Ramadan’s room at the Sofitel hotel in Lyon.
She described the alleged attack as being of “untold violence” and claimed that when she threatened to report them to the police Ramadan replied: “You don’t know how powerful I am.”
She also claimed that Ramadan had contacted her via the Messenger app in January, two months after his release from jail, saying that he wanted to make her an “offer” of a “professional nature,” without giving details.