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12th March, 2020

Sigyn captain trial begins on April 30

Ukrainian Yuri Chaplinsky pleaded innocent in the matter of the ship accident last May which claimed 28 fatalities, at a preliminary hearing at Pest Central District Court on Wednesday.

Prosecutors have charged Chaplinsky with reckless endangerment resulting in mass disaster and failure to provide help to passengers of the stricken sightseeing boat Hableany.

Had he pleaded guilty, and waived his right to a trial, the defendant would have been imprisoned for nine years.

With a view to the coronavirus threat, the judge herded journalists into another room, where they followed the proceedings on a screen.

This was the first time that the 64-year-old Chaplinsky did not cover his face in public, although he refused to allow the media to take photographs of him.

Prosecutors said that the captain did not concentrate on steering his ship the Viking Sigyn on the Danube near Margit Bridge for five minutes last May 29, and failed to notice the presence of the smaller Hableany, did not reduce the speed of his ship and did not initiate radio contact, nor send emergency signals.

The defendant said he is being treated for a kidney problem. He went for an examination on March 6 and will undergo more examinations on March 25.

The trial begins on April 30. (index.hu; 24.hu; hirado.hu; magyarhirlap.hu; magyarnemzet.hu; hirtv.hu)
12th March, 2020

Book, theatre, tennis events postponed

The 27th Budapest International Book Festival and the Seventh Madach International Theatre Meeting have been postponed to a later date after the cabinet banned indoor events attended by more than 100 people and outdoor events visited by more than 500 people.

The Hungarian Book Publishers and Distributors Association said a detailed information bulletin will be sent out to every exhibitor about a new date for the festival.

The Madach International Theatre Meeting scheduled for April 8 to May 17 is also put off to a later date, the National Theatre announced.

The International Tennis Federation has postponed the Fed Cup playoffs and final, scheduled to take place in Budapest on April 14-29, after the cabinet banned all indoor gatherings of more than 100 people. (magyarhirlap.hu; hvg.hu; nepszava.hu; 24.hu)

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