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Party boat captain in death trial

THE captain of a party boat was expected to go on trial in Spain today over the drowning death of a nephew of former Defence Minister Willie O'Dea.

Jose Ribas (45) will appear in court accused of the manslaughter of 24-year-old Basil Bourke on the holiday island of Ibiza four years ago.

Mr Bourke, from Hospital in Co Limerick, died after leaping from the boat during a four-hour sunset cruise in the port of San Antonio.

State prosecutors have called for Ribas to be jailed for four years and demanded he pay €100,000 in compensation to the victim's parents if convicted.

The Irishman drowned on July 31, 2006, after he and a friend jumped from the deck of the Captain Nemo as it returned to port at around 10.30pm. His body was found washed up on a nearby beach by a group of tourists the following lunchtime.

The ship's captain was arrested because his version of events contradicted a statement made by the friend who jumped overboard with Mr Bourke.