Two filmmakers from Sweden, Linus Anderson and Henrik Evertson were found guilty of violating the grave sanctity where MS Estonia lay. MS Estonia reportedly sank in the Baltic Sea in 1994. In the incident, 852 individuals lost their lives.
The Gothenburg district court levied fines proportional to the income of the filmmakers. The production manager, Evertsson, has also been imposed a $2,000, while Anderson, in charge of the diving equipment, must pay $1,800.
In 2019, as part of a Discovery Networks documentary, these filmmakers reportedly lowered a submersible that was operated with a remote in the sea where the MS Estonia was submerged. The duo was working on a documentary on the vessel’s sinking and examining if the initial cause shared with the public was actual or not.
However, as it turns out, the film crew members found a massive hole in the vessel’s hull, raising doubts over the earlier investigations. In 1997, an official investigation ruled that the impaired bow shield had flooded the car deck.
The judge, however, hearing the case, stated that the shipwreck was a grave site for many people and safeguarding its sanctity was crucial.
There is a strong public interest in maintaining peace around MS Estonia, a burial ground for many. Judge Goran Lundahl mentioned that protecting the sanctity of the dead is more essential than protecting the freedom of information and expression.
It is vital to note that MS Estonia carried 186 crew members and 803 passengers. It was en route from Tallinn to Stockholm when it sunk.
In 1995, Sweden, Finland, and Estonia agreed on designating the place where the ferry was lying as a grave site. This happened after they decided not to salvage the wreck. Hence, it became illegal to do anything that disturbed the site.
The filmmakers used a German-flagged ship in international waters to reach the spot with the instruments as Germany had not signed the accord.
Consequently, the two Swedes were not initially held accountable. However, it was later argued that ‘Estonia Law’ would apply to the duo as they were from Sweden.
While the two filmmakers have been fined, their findings reflected in the documentary have forced Estonia and Sweden to open a new examination of the case.
Reference: Naijatabloid, Wionews