New evidence points to accident in publisher’s car death

New evidence points to accident in publisher’s car death

Publisher Panagiotis Mavrikios appears to have switched on his hazard lights and attempted to get out of his Porsche Cayenne before it crashed into a divider on Athens’s Attiki Odos highway and was engulfed in flames.

Private technical advisers hired by Mavrikios’s family to investigate any possibility of foul play in last week’s deadly crash are examining CCTV footage and forensic evidence found along the road that reportedly point to a mechanical problem with the vehicle.

They said on Monday there are signs the car bumped into the concrete divider four or five times in the last 350 meters of its course.

Security footage apparently shows some small flames coming out from under the vehicle at one point, though there was no evidence on the tarmac of a gas leak. It also shows that around 34 seconds elapsed before the big conflagration after the vehicle crashed into the divider one last time. It seems that in that time, Mavrikios switched on his hazard lights and attempted to exit the car.

A police source said that a technical adviser from Porsche may be brought in to help in the official investigation. The same source said that police have not turned up any evidence challenging the private experts' findings.

The publisher of the Akropolis newspaper, who was on trial for blackmail, was burnt beyond recognition and his wife was said to have identified him from the jewelry found on the corpse.

Mavrikos was arrested along with two other journalists in February on charges of extorting huge sums in advertising from state-run companies, including the Athens water company (EYDAP).

He denied any wrongdoing and was released pending trial.

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