NEWS

9 convicted for Dystos shipwreck

Nine shipping officials received prison sentences of between five and seven years yesterday in relation to the capsizing of the Dystos cargo ship five years ago, in which 20 people died. A Piraeus court found the former chairman and the former general technical director of the Greek Register of Shipping, as well as the former managing director of Heracles Shipping, guilty on multiple counts of manslaughter, negligence, and complicity in the issuing of false certificates. T. Lysimachou, D. Melissinos and N. Mavros were each sentenced to seven years. The Dystos, a cement carrier, capsized off Evia in December 1996. One man survived. The court also sentenced five former members of the Heracles Shipping board – Ch. Mendzelopoulos, K. Ritsonis, G. Nikolopoulos, S. Papaspiliotopoulos and G. Siadelis – to five years for manslaughter and negligence. Greek Register of Shipping inspector N. Tolis received five years for issuing a false certificate. All sentences can be bought off for 3,000 drachmas a day. Progress in the construction of the Olympic Village has been made but problems have arisen, with contractors asking for a revised budget. The second largest project, the Olympic Equestrian Center, is still at a preconstruction phase, with the construction companies not yet chosen. A similar cloud hangs over the International Broadcasting Center (IBC) and the media villages. Culture Minister Evangelos Venizelos met Oswald yesterday and gave assurances the projects will be ready on time.