Probe broadens into boat crash as captain to defend himself

Probe broadens into boat crash as captain to defend himself

A 77-year-old man alleged to have been driving a speedboat that hit a tourist pleasure boat off Aegina on Tuesday, killing four people, is to face a magistrate on Friday as an investigation broadens into the circumstances surrounding the collision.

The fact that there were no immediate arrests after the crash fueled some confusion about the identity of the person who had been captaining the speedboat, with relatives of the 77-year-old telling reporters that he had not been the person behind the wheel.

There were also questions about the identity of the people on the speedboat as rumors swirled that government ministers may have been aboard (two members of the cabinet have summer homes on Aegina).

Shipping Minister Theodoros Dritsas on Thursday announced the names of those aboard the speedboat to douse the rumors, while government spokeswoman Olga Gerovasili asked the Greek Police’s cyber crimes squad to trace those who had maintained in online postings that government ministers had been aboard the speedboat.

The coast guard identified the 77-year-old captain of the speedboat on Thursday as Thrasyvoulos Lykourezos.

He is to appear before an investigating magistrate in Piraeus on Friday to defend himself on charges of manslaughter through neglect and grievous bodily harm.

His lawyer, Alexandros Lykourezos, stepped down, saying he could not represent the 77-year-old in such a serious criminal trial as the two men are related.

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