Monday, November 10, 2008

Material Witness

A few days ago I read about the anniversary of the SF oil spill. I was surprised to find this this morning. People's lives... how foreign they are... how seldom we think of them...

Sometimes you just get stuck somewhere...

By PAUL ELIAS Associated Press Writer
Article Launched: 11/07/2008 04:35:28 PM PST

SAN FRANCISCO—A federal magistrate judge ruled Friday that two crewmen of the Cosco Busan cargo ship can finally go home in a few weeks to China after involuntarily spending a year detained in San Francisco as witnesses to the massive San Francisco Bay oil spill.

Four other crew members, including the captain, will remain detained as "material witnesses" for at least the next several weeks.

The six have been stuck here since the Cosco Busan on Nov. 7, 2007 struck the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, gashing its hull and releasing 50,000 gallons of oil that killed thousands of birds and fouled beaches.

They are not charged with any crimes and continue to draw their salaries while living in a furnished apartment paid for by their employer. Each also receives $1,200 per month in witness fees.

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