August 24 - According to reports in the German media, Niels Stolberg's lawyers have rejected a proposed deal, which would have led to a reduced probationary sentence for the former Beluga Shipping boss.

Now, the long-running trial looks set to enter a new phase.

The reports suggest that the defenders of Niels Stolberg rejected the court's proposal to agree on a prison term of three and a half years to three years and nine months for the ex-shipowner.

Instead, further submissions were made by the defendants lawyers including a request for further witnesses to be called, so that it must be assumed that the trial, which started in January last year, will continue.

The reports add that the opinion of Stolberg's defenders had been expected as they had already determined not to accept anything but a suspended prison sentence.