The brother of a Somali man who died two years ago in the Simshar fishing boat tragedy has come to Malta in search of a lawyer who could help him ask the government for financial assistance, The Times reports.
Abdulqadir Hussein Geedi’s 21-year-old brother, Abdulrahman, died after the Simshar mysteriously blew up on the high seas on July 11, 2008, while heading back home from a five-day fishing trip.
Since then, Mr Geedi, who lives in Italy, has been the sole breadwinner not only for his own wife and three children but also for his mother and sister who live in Somalia, and his late brother’s wife.
According to the Times report, he is hoping that with the assistance of a good lawyer the Maltese government would agree to help him financially so he could look after his family. “I want good lawyer…to help me…so government helps me,” he said in broken English and Italian.
Mr Geedi, 31, works in a Sicilian supermarket selling vegetables and says he is struggling to make ends meet, the report says. When his brother was alive they shared the financial burden but now he is alone.
Mr Geedi’s mother has already filed a judicial letter informing the owner of the Simshar and sole survivor, Simon Bugeja, that she planned to initiate a case claiming compensation. All those on board had survived the explosion and hung on to makeshift rafts made from flotsam from the wreck.
Abdulrahman Geedi, who suffered extensive burns in the blast, was the first to die, followed by 33-year-old Noel Carabott, Mr Bugeja’s father 61-year-old Karmenu, and his son, 11-year-old Theo, whose body was never found.
In the judicial letter, the Times report says, Mr Geedi’s mother Fadumo Abdulle Qabobe accused Mr Bugeja of causing her son’s death through negligence and lack of safety training, drawing on the findings of an official inquiry report published last year.
The report had flagged the fact that Mr Bugeja failed to use safety equipment available on the boat.
But Mr Bugeja and his wife, Sharon, who was also held legally accountable for the damages in Ms Qabobe’s judicial letter, insisted they were not responsible and were victims themselves, having lost “their property, their family and their future”, the report adds.
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