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Prestige captain on $3m bail

leak
Oil leaks from a crack in the hull of the wreck

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MADRID, Spain (CNN) -- The Greek captain of the sunken oil tanker Prestige left a Spanish jail after nearly three months following the posting of a $3 million bond.

The captain, Apostolos Mangouras, left the Teixeiro prison near La Coruna in northwest Spain about 1 p.m. (1200 GMT) Friday after the insurance company representing the ship's operator paid the $3 million (3 million euros), CNN partner station CNN+ reported.

The 68-year-old captain, who has been given provisional liberty, appeared calm and declined to make any statements to reporters.

He is expected to stay at a local hotel and must report regularly to local court authorities, his lawyer, Maria Jose Rodriguez, said.

Mangouras had been detained on November 15, shortly before the ship sank in heavy weather, taking with it the bulk of its 70,000 tonnes of crude oil.

About 10,000 tonnes had seeped from the vessel before it split in half and sank to the bottom of the ocean about 130 miles off the northwest Spanish coast.

Leaks have since been reported, despite attempts at plugging the holes, with oil being washed up on Spanish, Portuguese and French coastlines, damaging the lucrative fishing industries of the area.

The captain had remained on board the Prestige for two days before being taken off and arrested on suspicion of having committed an environmental crime and disobeying Spanish authorities.

The bond was posted at the courthouse in nearby Corcubion, which is handling the initial investigation into the accident and the oil spill.

Fishermen in Spain are still collecting oil from spills on Friday.


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