A trial to determine the possible culpability of state officials in connection with the flash floods in Mandra, a town in western Attica, which resulted in 25 deaths and the destruction of hundreds of properties in November 2017, is starting in an Athens misdemeanors court on Friday.
More than 130 witnesses are slated to testify. The main suspects are the then-Attica regional governor Rena Dourou, the then-mayors of the surrounding towns and several town-planning officials.
According to a 66-page report by prosecutor Sotiria Papageorgakopoulou, the charges include manslaughter through neglect, bodily harm, provoking floods through neglect, violating construction regulations and breach of duty.
Charges were also brought against Deputy Regional Governor Ioannis Vassileiou, Mandra Mayor Ioanna Kriekouki, Elefsina Mayor Giorgos Tsoukalas, Megara Mayor Grigoris Stamoulis and other officials at the forestry and zoning services in the area.
The case is based on the findings of a probe by Public Administration General Inspector Maria Papaspyrou that pointed to widespread illegal construction, poor anti-flood infrastructure and numerous oversights as the main causes of the deadly flood.
It also mentioned serious factors that contributed to the fatal outcome, such as the building on streams and arbitrary construction by the Municipality of Mandra as well as private citizens.
A total of 39 illegal constructions were recorded inside the streams, among which the municipal bus depot, a night club, gas stations, a soccer field, houses and warehouses.