Murder charges over Faran quake deaths

Four company officials and a civil engineer are to be tried on murder charges for the death of nine people in an Athens factory, part of which collapsed during a disastrous 1999 earthquake, following a Supreme Court decision yesterday. Yesterday’s ruling, which upheld a decision by the Council of Appeals Court Judges, follows a similar decision concerning six company officials and civil engineers indicted for the death of 39 people in the flattened Ricomex factory during the same quake – which killed a total of 143 people. The four board members of Faran SA, a pharmaceuticals company, and a civil engineer will be tried for «murder with possible malice aforethought,» a charge used frequently in the aftermath of deadly accidents such as the 1999 earthquake or the 2000 Samina ferry sinking, in which 80 died. The Supreme Court said the suspects failed to repair the building after a 1981 earthquake, in order to save money.

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