Families of air victims seek justice

The head of a committee representing the relatives of the 121 victims of a Cypriot airliner crash near Athens two years ago yesterday called for those responsible for the tragedy to be punished. Speaking after a memorial service at Grammatiko, close to the spot where the Helios Airways plane crashed on August 14 2005, Nikolas Giasoumis said the victims’ relatives were upset by the leniency shown to Ajet Aviation (as Helios is now known). «The relatives of the victims are joining forces, not for revenge but because leaving those responsible unpunished sets a precedent for others to do the same, or worse,» he said. Giasoumis blamed the lack of progress in the case on «possible vested interests» and «omissions on the part of services such as Cyprus’s Civil Aviation Authority.» He called on the Cypriot and Greek judiciaries «to cooperate and proceed as swiftly as possible to punish those responsible.» Relatives of the crash victims have filed 23 lawsuits against the Cypriot state, accusing civil aviation authorities of negligence and foot-dragging.