Homicide unit probes death of publisher in car fire

Homicide unit probes death of publisher in car fire

The homicide unit of the Athens police is investigating the death of newspaper publisher Panagiotis Mavrikos, who was burnt alive on Thursday when his jeep was engulfed in flames on an Athens highway.

The 42-year-old owner of the Akropolis newspaper, who was on trial for blackmail, was driving a Porsche Cayenne luxury jeep – owned by his wife – on the Attiki Odos ring road 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.

Police said he was burnt beyond recognition.

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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