The prosecution side in the case facing several prominent Zanzibar business people and other high-profile leaders over the MV Spice Islanders sinking now wants to substitute charges against the accused.
The request to bring new charges against the accused was made by public prosecutor Omar Sururu to Urban West Resident Magistrate Yesaya Kayange.
According to the application, the prosecution also requested the court to grant it enough time to substitute the charges.
The court gave the prosecution two months to effect the changes to the charge sheet since the case had already been transferred to the High Court of Zanzibar for further processes, including hearing.
Magistrate Kayange said Zanzibar Chief Justice Omar Othman Makungu would preside over the case.
Defence counsel Captain John Bendera, Hamid Mbwezeleni and Dk.Masumbuko Lamwai said they had no objection to the request advanced by the prosecutor. However, they called for the changes to be effected within the set time.
The accused people were initially facing 230 charges, depending on the number of deaths reported.
However, reports released later had it that thousands more lives perished in the marine accident.
The accused include former Director of Marine Tranport Authority Haji Vuai Ussi, Muyuni Member of House of Representatives Jaku Hashim Ayoub, Zanzibar businessman Salim Said Mohamed and other senior officials of the Zanzibar Marine Transport Authority and Zanzibar Ports Authority.
Others are Abdallah Mohamed Abdallah, Yusuph Suleiman Issa, Simai Nyange Simai, Mohamed Hasnuu Makame, Juma Seif Juma and the captain of the ill-fated vessel, Said Kinyenyete who is still at large.
It is feared that the captain either disappeared or drowned.