Journalist Henrik Evertson’s team triggered a new investigation into the Estonian shipwreck, sending a diving robot into the rubble. He is now on trial.
Evertson and a colleague have been accused of violating the tomb’s peace after sending a diving robot to the wreckage of an Estonian boat at the bottom of the Baltic Sea.
– It is good to present my views in court. We did some ethical and legal consideration before doing the actual investigation, ”he says.
Two days have been set aside for the case at Getforks Dingsroad, which opens on Monday.
Discovery of a mysterious hole in “Estonia”: Swedish Accident Investigation Board to investigate the overview
Two unknown holes
Evertson’s team found two holes in the previously unknown ship’s cruise, which led to the Swedish Board of Inquiry’s decision in September 1994 to reopen its investigation into the accident.
While Estonia was on its way from Tallinn to Stockholm, it capsized in rough seas and sank in less than an hour. 852 lost their lives and only 137 were rescued.
One year after the accident, it was decided that the ship carrying most of the dead should not be lifted and should be buried in the rubble according to a separate law. It was the harsh silence with which Evertson was accused of breaking.
German ferry from German port
The accused and the prosecuting officer disagreed on the facts of the case. The question is whether going to the ruins is a crime and if so, how it should be punished.
An important point in the case is how the team got to the crash site. They were on a German boat departing from a German port, and Germany had no law to bury them in the wreckage.
AIBN became interested last fall when a documentary about Dive was shown on TV Norge and streaming service Discovery +.
Hjarund (6) is buried in “Estonia” – father demands an answer after finding trauma in the wreckage
Now the question is how the two holes arose. Whether they hit the bottom of the sinking ship, or were holes there before the accident, so they may have been the reason the ship went down.
Evertson and his crew showed the film materials to the Swedish Accident Investigation Board at a lengthy meeting attended by Estonian experts. He says they are available for further questions.
The Norwegian documentary “Estonia – The Invention That Changes Everything” attracted a lot of attention. In addition to the interest from Swedish, Finnish and Estonian officials, Evertson received the Stora Journalist Prize.
– Just speculation
However, ten well-known Swedish journalists, including John Killu and Jane Josephson, have strongly criticized the award, believing that the documentary “only presents spectacular conspiracy theories without any evidence that they are real.”
– It comes as a surprise and concern to us that the referee for Stora Journalism did not respond to the plot rhetoric of the documentary, as stated in the letter from ten journalists
Pre-VG “Estonia” investigations: Swedish authorities should be aware of shallow hole
The issue of the peace of the grave
Göteborgs tingsrätt does not relate to superficial gaps or the quality of the documentary. The case is whether it is legal to obtain it.
The Special Law on Cemetery Peace makes an exception for dives made to cover debris or for environmental protection reasons. But these exceptions do not apply in Monday’s case.
– In our law, cases are law or not. Attorney Helen Kestrin says if you had a good intention, the district court could take that case into account when sentencing.
Wants to destroy the peace of the grave
The three AIBNs have submitted a request to amend the law relating to strict peace so that new investigations can be carried out underwater at the scene of the accident.
Swedish authorities have no plans to restore the peace of the cemetery, but Interior Minister Michael Tamberg has said he may consider opening a new dive.
It is unknown at this time what he will do after leaving the post. Evertson did not take anything in advance,
– He says this law has never been heard in court, so it is difficult to say anything about the outcome.
“Estonia” will bring a lawsuit against the director: – They knew it was banned
Got the new “Estonia” mystery
The accounts of the victims can be filtered
Correction: The first version of this case stated that the documentary aired on the Discovery Channel. That is not true. It aired on TVNorge and the streaming service Discovery +. This was fixed on 25.01. 13.49 in 2021.