Three wreck divers from Cornwall were forced to plead guilty to crimes, participation in which they denied for six years.
They acknowledged that they stole property from the wrecks of “Don Pedro”, and each received six-month jail term with two years delay and a fine of 4,700 £.
But a divers during six years insisted that they were never near the “Don Pedro” wrecks, because they had permission from the Spanish government to work in neighboring wreck: the Dutch ship “Friesland”.
It is very questionable assertion, since when the divers were arrested, they had bottles and broken Chinese porcelain from «Don Pedro» with them, which they then claimed they have, simply to identify the wreck. And of course, they just went to report on their finding the Spanish authorities.
It is believed that «Don Pedro» sank with a cargo of gold and diamonds, and divers were accused of stealing from wreck, as well as damage to the Spanish cultural heritage.
(By the way, «Don Pedro» is open for divers now, you can dive and see. It lies at a depth of 25-45 meters, not far from the shore, so that it is available. Who is going to Ibiza, ask around.)
Threatened with arrest up to six years and a fine of £40 000, divers today have agreed on a deal offered by prosecutors.
Mr Kubin, one of the convicts explains: “We – now are considered criminals in Spain.
The deal arranged our lawyers. We went, we were charged, we had a translator who explained what was happening, and we agree with the charges involved.
The situation was tense, as we stood there, and they talked about the six months’ imprisonment, and we just were not sure of the outcome of the case, and then in the end they said that the period of delay.
After so many years it’s finally finished.
We are disappointed because this isn’t the outcome we expected, but continue to insist on my innocence would be wrong, and anything else we could do. Our lawyers told us that was too big a risk that we will receive the maximum punishment.
There is no sense of celebration, but there is relief. I am going to sit under the sun, listen to the bells of the cathedral, drink coffee, then beer, then go home and try to continue my life ».