On April 28, 2010, a Houston federal court jury found Greek maritime officer Ioannis Mylonakis not-guilty of charges that he engineered the dumping of oil tanker waste off of the Texas coast in early 2009. The jury rejected claims by the government Mylonakis ordered his crew to use a so-called “magic pipe” to bypass pollution control equipment and discharge sludge and oily waste into the seas near Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas. Mylonakis was the chief engineer of the 40,000-ton M/T Georgios M.
During the trial, eight crewmembers testified Mylonakis orchestrated the magic pipe bypass. The cross-examination of these crew members left reasonable doubt, as it was brought out that the crew members misled the government about Mylonakis’ involvement of in return for grants of immunity. During the trial, District Court Judge Kenneth Hoyt struck the testimony of the US Coast Guard Marine Safety Lab’s expert chemist, finding it confusing and irrelevant. The defense also uncovered a letter from a former whistleblower alerting the government to the use of a “magic pipe” in 2006 and presented testimonial evidence from the whistleblower that it was prepared and signed as revenge against a former company official.
The defense team included Joel Androphy and Kathryn Nelson, of Berg & Androphy, in Houston, and “magic pipe” specialists (and my good friend), George M. Chalos and George A. Gaitas, of Chalos & Co, P.C.
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