DECEMBER 4 2008 22:47h
The captain from Dubrovnik spoke of his stay in prison, and admits he had dark thoughts, and thought there was no escape.
DUBROVNIK, CROATIA - “I always thought, as I think today, that nothing could have happened besides my release to freedom, so I am trying to adapt and feel normal as soon as possible” said the Croatian captain Kristo Laptalo in the television show “Croatia Live”, talking about the time he spent in the Greek prison Patras.
“On the ship you adapt to poor conditions, to bad food… But this prison is such that you do not get anything from it. The prison gives you one roll of toilet paper and one bar of soap per month. However, those who have money can buy whatever they want. Life is such that those who have money can buy what they need, eat something, talk on the telephone, and those who do not have money are forced to do some jobs for those who do” said Laptalo, confirming that Patras is really one of the most infamous in all of Greece.
“I often thought of the worst”
Laptalo thanked everyone for their support, because solidarity meant a lot, and it was easier when he knew that the public were with him. Regardless of it all, he says that he often had the darkest thoughts, and thought of the worst.
“There were moments when I thought that we would not beat the Greeks, that there was no way out. But I was not afraid. That is why, after they declared me guilty in July, I told one man the plan for my burial, in the case that I decide upon something. But he had to promise me that he would not tell my family anything” said Laptalo.
No suits for Cicak and Greece
Even though Ivan Zvonimir Cicak published false information that Laptalo knew about the drugs that were being smuggled on his ship, Laptalo’s wife and daughter filed a law suit against him, but Laptalo says that he will not undertake any legal action against him.
Also, he has not announced a suit against Greece, but stresses that he will support his company if they decide to sue.
“The company spent more than a million dollars on the whole story, and I now leave it up to them to decide to do something” says Laptalo. He added that his company will no longer import bananas to Greece, all until they promise that these sort of things will no longer occur to staff and captains, if drugs are found buried amongst the cargo.
“The police in Europe and America will not come to me saying that they found something on the ship. On the contrary, they will hide it from me and follow where the drugs are going. If the freight comes to its destination, and in the end something comes back to me, then they will know that I am guilty. But these in Greece arrested me because I was the closest. It is interesting that the boxes that the drugs were in were immediately destroyed and thrown away. Without any search, or looking for fingerprints. We brought them a book from Eduador with fingerprints of all who were on the ship, only for them to say that they do not need it because they do not have the boxes” says Laptalo. He stressed that sea farers have to be ready, because something like this can happen, and it is most important that the company stands behind them.
Questionable if his sea faring career is over
The Dubrovnik captain said that he has yet to decide if his career at sea is over, and says that he will think about that after a long rest, and his family let him know that they do not want him to go to the sea anymore.
“My sons tell me that they will not speak with me anymore if I return to the sea. I am not certain what will happen, if everything falls together, maybe I wont go to sea. We will see” said Laptalo.