Cairo: A court in Ismailia, Egypt, has postponed the ruling on the Suez Canal lawsuit against the owners of the container ship Ever Given, which ran aground in the Suez Canal and blocked the waterway for six days in March, until June 20, the canal press service said in a statement.
The postponement comes in response to a request of the parties to the claim to give them a chance to negotiate in the pre-trial order, according to the statement, obtained by Sputnik.
The ship’s owner’s defense insists that the disagreements with the canal administration are related to the amount of compensation, which the owner considers too high.
The 400-meter-long Ever Given container ship became wedged in one of the world’s busiest trade routes in March, creating a backlog of vessels waiting to cross through the canal which connects the Red Sea to the Mediterranean. After several attempts, the ship was eventually refloated and towed to the Great Bitter Lake where it remains under arrest.
Suez Canal administration chief Osama Rabia said on Tuesday that the investigation into the incident had proved that full responsibility lies with the captain of the ship who made a mistake during vessel navigation.
The official cited the Egyptian Maritime Navigation Law of 1990, under which vessel captains are responsible for any damage to the Suez Canal.
Rabia also denied claims that the canal administration was to blame for the incident: the ship ran aground in bad weather conditions but on the same day over 30 ships successfully passed the canal prior to the incident with Ever Given.
In April, the Japanese Shoei Kisen company that owns Ever Given informed that it was holding talks on decreasing the amount of compensation to the Suez Canal.