Oil-spill skipper wins appeal

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The Independent Online
ANCHORAGE (AP) - The Alaska Court of Appeals yesterday threw out a misdemeanour conviction against the captain of the tanker Exxon Valdez, the source of the United States' worst oil spill, saying the state used tainted evidence.

Joseph Hazelwood was skipper of the tanker but not on the bridge when it rammed a reef in Prince William Sound on 24 March, 1989, releasing 11 million gallons of crude oil.

Mr Hazelwood was acquitted in March 1990 of three more serious counts, including operating a vessel while intoxicated, but a jury convicted him of negligent discharge of oil.