Ricomex 6 to be tried for 39 quake deaths

Six company officials and civil engineers will stand trial on murder charges for the death of 39 people in an Athens factory that collapsed in the September 1999 earthquake, according to a ruling made public yesterday. The council of appeals court judges decided that the Ricomex household goods factory had been badly built – skimping on safety features – illegally enlarged and was poorly repaired after a 1993 fire. Board members Gerasimos and Michalis Tsassis, as well as civil engineers Michalis Scholidis, Alexandros Dovas, Adamantios Vassilakis and Emmanouil Kotzastratis will be tried for murder with possible malice aforethought. The council cleared another five Ricomex officials and civil engineers, saying they were unaware of the irregularities that led to the building’s collapse. Last month, a court awarded 670,000 euros in damages in response to two claims arising from the Ricomex collapse.

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