Sharp arrested

RABAUL Shipping owner Peter Sharp has reportedly been arrested and charged with 162 counts of manslaughter over the Rabaul Queen ferry disaster last year.
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Images of Sharp arrested and being taken into custody were displayed around the world yesterday with The National reporting that Sharp's lawyers were trying to obtain bail late last night.

Chief Inspector Benjamin Turi told the newspaper bail was refused because it was a criminal matter.

"The arrest of Sharp is a result of months of work by a police investigating team, comprising detectives from Port Moresby, Lae and Kimbe," he reportedly said.

Turi further told the newspaper the arrest was the first of "many more to come".

The 162 counts manslaughter, as reported by The National indicates that the estimated death toll has climbed again.

Last year's Commission of Inquiry into the accident estimated that between 142 and 161 lives were lost.

The commission found that the 310 capacity-certified ferry had 392-411 people on board when it was capsized by three waves up to 4m high in gale force conditions while en route to Lae on February 2, 2012.

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