Spain Asks Judge to Force Handover of Treasure From Tampa Company

MITCH STACY, Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Tampa deep-sea explorers lost their legal bid to keep a half million silver coins and other treasure raised from a Spanish shipwreck. Now Spain wants to know when and how it will be handed over.

Attorneys for Odyssey Marine Exploration and the Spanish government will go before a federal judge Friday to talk about the handover of the treasure. Also at issue, according to court documents, is who is responsible for $185,000 in storage fees accrued since the treasure was flown back to Tampa in May 2007.

A U.S. district court and federal appeals courts ruled against Odyssey in its bid to keep most or all of the treasure. Spain contended that it never surrendered ownership of the sunken galleon Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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