Prison staff face fatal fire charge

A former head of Greece’s largest prison, Korydallos, and three guards were charged with manslaughter yesterday in connection to a fire that broke out in the detention center, killing four inmates. The inmates died in a fire on March 31 in Cell 80 in the fourth wing of Korydallos prison. Prosecutor Periklis Drakos charged the former governor, Giorgos Marinarios, and the guards – identified as V. Zisis, N. Matzouranis and G. Delakis – after establishing that prison officials ignored Justice Ministry instructions to improve fire safety measures at the crowded prison in western Athens. The prosecutor’s report also found that the two guards on duty were inexperienced and slow to respond to the situation. According to the report, the inmates started the fire in a bid to be transferred to another prison. Authorities at Korydallos have admitted that there are no smoke alarms or automatic sprinklers in the prison. Last September, European justice ministers said that Greece was not doing enough to improve facilities.

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