Families angered as six convicted, 15 cleared over deadly 2018 wildfire in Mati


An Athens court has convicted six people and cleared 15 others over wildfires which killed more than 100 people at a Greek resort almost six years ago.

Wildfires uncontrollably spread around Mati, resulting in the deaths of multiple people in their cars due of traffic preventing them from escaping the danger; others drowned attempting to flee into the sea to protect themselves from the flames.

Five officials, including the fire chief acting at the time, received suspended sentences ranging from 15 to 111 years for several charges of criminal negligence resulting in harm or death as a result of their participation in the fire response.

According to ABC News, none of the politicians among the 21 people prosecuted were convicted, enraging the relatives of the victims present in court.

The fires will leave an invisible scar on Mati for generations to come.(AP: Thanassis Stavrakis)
The fires will leave an invisible scar on Mati for generations to come. Photo: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis.

In total, 104 people died and dozens were injured from the flames, while an estimated 1,260 hectares were also destroyed.

Witnesses said at the time that residents had not been warned of the imminent danger.

Relatives of the dead shouted in court on Monday: “Your court is an insult to the dead, the living and the truth”, “There is no justice” and “You have no shame.”

Greek Minister of state, Makis Voridis said the reaction was reasonable in relation to the sentences given.

“This kind of a sentence is not commensurate with this kind of tragedy,” Voridis said.

Experts believe that poor urban planning, such as a lack of suitable access roads and the development of too many structures near flammable forest areas, led to the tragedy.

Source: ABC News




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