The 2000 sinking of the Express Samina passenger ferry with the loss of 80 lives was due to unfortunate coincidences and not to malice aforethought, the ship’s first mate assured an examining magistrate on the island of Syros yesterday. Over 15 months after his arrest and detention pending trial for «multiple murder with possible malice aforethought,» Anastassios Psychogios told magistrate Nikos Karadimitriou that he had done what he could to keep the ferry from striking the Portes rocks off Paros. In his additional testimony, the ship’s officer insisted that public opinion had formed a «non-representative» impression of his character during the months of his imprisonment on Chios along with the Samina’s captain, Vassilios Yiannakis. Yiannakis testified last week. Yesterday, Karadimitriou also charged Psychogios with disrupting sea transport, endangering people and polluting the sea. All three charges are misdemeanors.The Samina sank on September 26, 2000, with over 530 people on board.Eighty die.