Europe

Italy judge convicts 2 in sinking that claimed 700 migrants

  • Judge Daniela Monaco Crea reads the sentence in the trial against ship captain Mohammad Ali Malek and crew mate Mahmud Bikhit in the April 2015 migrant sinking off Libya that left 700 people dead in the Mediterranean's worst-known migrant disaster, in Catania, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)

    Judge Daniela Monaco Crea reads the sentence in the trial against ship captain Mohammad Ali Malek and crew mate Mahmud Bikhit in the April 2015 migrant sinking off Libya that left 700 people dead in the Mediterranean's worst-known migrant disaster, in Catania, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Monday, April 20, 2015, file photo, the Tunisian navigator Mohammed Ali Malek, and one of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coast of Libya, waits to disembark from Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, at the Sicilian harbor of Catania, southern Italy. A judge in Sicily on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, convicted Malek and crew mate Mahmud Bikhit in the April 2015 sinking off Libya that left 700 people dead in the Mediterranean's worst-known migrant disaster. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)

    FILE - In this Monday, April 20, 2015, file photo, the Tunisian navigator Mohammed Ali Malek, and one of the survivors of the boat that overturned off the coast of Libya, waits to disembark from Italian Coast Guard ship Bruno Gregoretti, at the Sicilian harbor of Catania, southern Italy. A judge in Sicily on Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016, convicted Malek and crew mate Mahmud Bikhit in the April 2015 sinking off Libya that left 700 people dead in the Mediterranean's worst-known migrant disaster. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • Mohammad Ali Malek, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined 9 million euros, is being taken to prison after he, who was the ship captain, and crew mate Mahmud Bikhit were tried for the April 2015 migrant sinking off Libya that left 700 people dead in the Mediterranean's worst-known migrant disaster, in Catania, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)

    Mohammad Ali Malek, who was sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined 9 million euros, is being taken to prison after he, who was the ship captain, and crew mate Mahmud Bikhit were tried for the April 2015 migrant sinking off Libya that left 700 people dead in the Mediterranean's worst-known migrant disaster, in Catania, Italy, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2016. (AP Photo/Salvatore Cavalli)  (The Associated Press)

A judge in Sicily has convicted a ship captain and crew member in the April 2015 sinking that left 700 people dead in one of the Mediterranean's worst migrant disasters.

The Tunisian captain, Mohammad Ali Malek, was sentenced to 18 years in prison and fined 9 million euros. He was convicted of multiple manslaughter counts. His Syrian crewmate, Mahmud Bikhit, was sentenced to five years in prison and fined 9 million euros after being convicted of facilitating illegal immigration.

Prosecutors accused Malek of inadvertently ramming the overloaded fishing boat into the cargo ship that had come to its rescue on April 18, 2015, destabilizing it. The boat flipped after migrants rushed to one side. Only 28 survived.

The wreck was brought to the surface and some 700 bodies recovered.