6 Jul 2011

Greek court releases US captain

1:22 pm on 6 July 2011

A court in Greece has released the American captain of a boat that's part of an international flotilla aiming to break Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

John Klusmire, 60, was arrested last Friday as his boat set sail from Greece despite a Greek ban on ships heading to Gaza.

The BBC reports he was charged with breaching the ban and putting lives at risk.

The flotilla, carrying about 350 passengers, was supposed to be taking medicines, food, gifts and building materials to Gaza.

But the chances of any of the ships arriving in Gaza were increasingly remote due to the vigilance of the Greek coastguard and the rigid enforcement of the government's ban.

Nine people were killed on 31 May last year when Israeli marines stormed a pro-Palestinian flotilla attempting to reach Gaza.