Federal appeals court hears Va. coal ship case - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Federal appeals court hears Va. coal ship case

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LEWISBURG, W.Va. (AP) -- A federal appeals court is set to hear arguments in the case of a Maltese-flagged coal ship that has been detained in Virginia since April.

The panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is meeting Tuesday in Lewisburg, W.Va.

The U.S. Coast Guard detained the ship and its roughly 20-member crew April 19 over alleged environmental violations.

Last month, a federal judge in Virginia ordered the ship freed for a $1.5 million bond -- half of what the Coast Guard originally demanded. U.S. District Judge Robert Doumar berated the federal government's actions, saying he could recall "no greater disregard for due process" in his more than 30 years on the bench.

The Coast Guard appealed his ruling.

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