NEWS

DNA test to help identify charred body in burnt-out SUV

Police was expected to release Friday the results of a DNA test to confirm the identity of the driver who was burnt alive when his SUV was engulfed in flames on an Athens highway Thursday.

Reports have so far identified the victim as Panagiotis Mavrikos, a 42-year-old publisher who was on trial for blackmail. Police said the driver was burnt beyond recognition but Mavrikos's wife is said to have recognized jewellery found on the corpse. 

The victim was allegedly driving a Porsche Cayenne on the Attiki Odos highway in the direction of Elefsina, when it apparently slowed down, crashed into a divider and came to a halt, before it was engulfed in flames. Reports said that apart from fire engines, explosives experts were also called to the scene, suggesting that it was being viewed as more than just an accident.

Mavrikos was arrested along with two other journalists in February on charges he allegedly extorted huge sums in advertising from state-run companies, including the Athens water company (EYDAP). Mavrikos had denied any wrongdoing and was released pending trial.

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