The captain of the Express Samina ferry, which hit a rock and sank with the loss of 80 lives off Paros in September 2000, is to be released on bail after spending 16 months in prison awaiting trial, court sources said yesterday. Special investigating magistrate Nikos Karadimitriou, who is handling the Samina investigation, has ordered that Captain Vassilios Yiannakis – who was imprisoned in Chios along with his First Mate, Anastassios Psychoyios – should be set free on bail of 6 million drachmas (17,600 euros). According to reports yesterday, Karadimitriou said there is no reason to believe Yiannakis will try to jump bail, and is extremely unlikely to repeat the same crimes he is accused of committing. He has been charged on multiple counts of murder with possible malice aforethought and causing a shipwreck. The legal pretrial detention limit is 18 months.