Court cuts ship crew’s sentences

An Athens appeals court reduced a jail sentence previously handed to the captain of the Express Samina ferry, which sank off Paros in 2000 and caused the loss of 82 lives, by about a third to 11 years, court officials said yesterday. In February last year, the captain, Vassilis Yiannaki,s had been given a 16-year jail sentence after being found guilty of a plethora of crimes and misdemeanors. The court yesterday also trimmed the sentence that had been handed to first mate Anastassios Psychogios to 12 years and nine months from the previous 19-year sentence. The former managing director of passenger ferry firm Minoan Flying Dolphins – since renamed Hellenic Seaways – Nikolaos Vikato,s had his four-year sentence reduced to two years and six months as did another former company representative, Costas Klironomos. In what is considered to be Greece’s worst ferry accident in over three decades, the 34-year-old Samina struck well-marked rocks off Paros in September 2000 and sank with more than 530 people aboard.

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