New ruling for Samina charges

Four officers of the Express Samina ferry, which sank with the loss of 80 lives in September 2000, and two representatives of the ship’s owners are to face criminal charges over the shipwreck, according to yet another court ruling yesterday that annulled an earlier decision for the charges to be reduced to misdemeanor level. Accepting a proposal by Supreme Court prosecutor Evangelos Kroustallakis, Greece’s highest court for criminal and civil suits decided that Captain Vassilis Yiannakis, First Mate Tassos Psychogios, Second Mate Yiannis Triandafyllos and First Engineer Gerassimos Skiadaressis should be tried on criminal charges of murder with possible premeditated malice. The Aegean Council of Appeals Court Judges had ruled that the officers – along with the representatives of the shipowning firm, Minoan Flying Dolphins (since renamed Hellas Flying Dolphins) Constantinos Klironomos and Nikos Vikatos – should face misdemeanor charges. The Supreme Court said Klironomos and Vikatos should be tried for endangering the passengers’ lives.