New call for felony charges over deadly Mati wildfire
A third request to upgrade the charges faced by fire brigade and civil protection officials to felonies over their management of the deadly fire in Mati in summer 2018 was submitted on Friday to the Athens Prosecutor’s Office by the case’s chief investigator, Athanasios Marneris.
The 41-page request was submitted in light of new evidence that has emerged from the investigation, substantiating criminal omissions, particularly with regard to management of the air operations to douse the flames. Marneris’s request is also backed by victims’ relatives who are demanding the exemplary punishment of those responsible.
The previous two previous requests to upgrade the charges were unsuccessful, on the grounds that no new evidence was provided.
However, Marneris’ third request includes a series of criminal omissions, which, as he states, contributed to the death of 101 people and dozens of injured.
The investigator believes that these omissions concern mainly officials of the Fire Brigade, but also of the Civil Protection in all three stages of the deadly fire – its beginning, the handling of the blaze and the rescue stage.
Marneris said these officials "were responsible due to the position they held, to take the necessary actions, but showed complete indifference."