Estonia investigation will not be reopened

Published 16 February 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Holes discovered in the hull of the M/S Estonia during the filming of a documentary in 2020.

Swedish Prosecutor Karolina Wieslander announces that the previously closed preliminary investigation into the sinking of the M/S Estonia will not be reopened. Nor will a new preliminary investigation be initiated.

In November 2020, the Swedish Prosecution Authority received a request to reopen the closed preliminary investigation into whether a crime has been committed in connection with the sinking of the Estonia, or to open a new one, as new circumstances have emerged. The request referred to information in a television documentary showing holes in the ship’s hull. Since then, several similar requests have been received“, the prosecutor writes in a press release.

With reference to the new information, the Estonian Safety Investigation Authority decided to initiate a preliminary assessment – assisted by Swedish and Finnish authorities.

Based on the actions of the investigation authorities, there is no indication that there was a collision with a ship or a floating object, nor an explosion in the bow, Wieslander said.

No suspicion of crime

Nor has anything else emerged that gives reason to assume that a crime has been committed. The additional measures planned by the investigating authorities are not expected to affect my assessment. Consequently, a preliminary investigation will not be initiated and the case will be closed, the prosecutor continues.

The Estonia investigation was originally closed in 1997 – soon after the sinking. In 1999, the Prosecutor General decided not to reopen it, as the crimes covered by the preliminary investigation were then time-barred. His decision was requested to be reconsidered, but was upheld the following year.

During the filming of the documentary Estonia – the find that changed everything, a large hole was discovered in the Estonia’s hull, and it is still unclear what caused this.

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