Six guilty of Asopos pollution

Six people responsible for factories in Viotia, central Greece, were yesterday found guilty of polluting the Asopos River but escaped heavy punishment due to a legal technicality that may force authorities to prosecute more suspects. A court in Thebes handed down up to six-month suspended jail sentences to six of the 18 factory foremen who were tried. It also imposed fines of -3,000–9,000 on the men who allowed waste to be dumped into what has become one of Greece’s most polluted rivers. However, in the last few days, the lawyers representing the accused informed the court that the men sitting in the dock were not the legal representatives of the companies and could therefore not bear the full brunt of the court’s ruling. This might lead to new charges being brought. However, the head of a residents’ association in Oropos, north of Athens, told Kathimerini that yesterday’s ruling was a good start. «It will make some people understand that you cannot sacrifice everything, especially the health of thousands, in the name of profit,» said Christos Panagopoulos.

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