Swedish court charges two with desecrating MS Estonia resting place

The MS Estonia.
The MS Estonia. Source: ERR

Two people have been charged by a Swedish court for violating the resting place of the MS Estonia.

According to a report on the ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera" on Tuesday, the pair are both Swedish citizens who had taken part in a documentary about the 1994 sinking of the MS Estonia.

This involved sending an unmanned submersible to investigate the wreck - which lies in about 100 meters of water in about 55 kilometers northwest of the Ristna lighthouse on Hiiumaa, and a somewhat shorter distance south of the Turku archipelago, Finland - in violation of international agreements.

Under Swedish law, violating a resting place or grave can carry a fine or up to two years in prison.

The MS Estonia sank in heavy among September 28 1994, with 852 lives lost.

The wreck of Estonia lies in international waters, but within the Finnish Exclusive Economic Zone. According to an agreement regarding the peace of the shipwreck signed by Sweden, Finland and Estonia in 1995, such activity is illegal. Germany and Norway, however, are not signatories of the agreement.

Unauthorized dives are not an unknown occurrence at the MS Estonia's resting place, with boats containing suspected wreck-divers intercepted by the authorities.

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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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