Tuesday, October 30, 2007


US court dispute over Spanish shipwreck treasure far from over


October 30, 2007

TAMPA, Florida - The legal fight between Florida deep-sea explorers and the Spanish government over an estimated $500 million (¤347 million) in sunken treasure could drag on for another year or more, court documents filed Tuesday said.

Odyssey Marine Exploration and attorneys for the Spanish government agree on little beyond their ability to be ready for a trial by at least Oct. 1, 2008, according to a case management report filed in federal court.

Spain has filed claims to the vast treasure of colonial-era silver coins and other artifacts that Tampa-based Odyssey salvaged from an undisclosed shipwreck in the Atlantic Ocean earlier this year.

Spain contends it is entitled to the treasure if it or the ship belonged to Spain, or if it was removed from that nation's territorial waters. Odyssey, citing security concerns, has disclosed only that the wreck was situated outside the territorial waters of any country.

Lawyers for Spain have asked a judge to order Odyssey to disclose the location and identity of the shipwreck.


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