TESTIMONY AGAINST HAZELWOOD QUESTIONED

TESTIMONY AGAINST HAZELWOOD QUESTIONED

The judge presiding over Joseph Hazelwood's criminal trial said Monday that much of the expert testimony against the fired Exxon supertanker captain might be irrelevant to the charges he faces.

Anchorage Superior Court Judge Karl Johnstone said Capt. Hazelwood, former skipper of the Exxon Valdez, might be innocent of recklessness charges stemming from his alleged attempts to free the crippled supertanker from a Prince William Sound reef because the ship was too firmly embedded on the reef to be moved off it."In fact, it could not have been removed by Capt. Hazelwood; in fact, no more damage occurred; and in fact, there was no chance of additional damage," Judge Johnstone said.