February 21, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Court acquitted 13 accused of violations leading to flooding with victims in Mandre

After a year-and-a-half trial, a court in Athens acquitted 13 of the 21 accused in the deadly flash floods in Mandra (western Attica) in November 2017 that killed 24 people.

Pictured is Rena Duru, former Governor of Attica

A three-member criminal court acquitted the former governor of the region Renu Duru (SYRIZA) and twelve others, and found guilty of eight other defendants.

Those acquitted include the then mayors of Megara and Elefsina, as well as forest department officials, city planning officials, and members of the creek conservation committee.

In the Douro case, the court unanimously acquitted her of breach of duty and by a majority of two votes to one acquitted her of acts of flood resulting from the inaction of the person responsible for negligent murder and bodily harm.

Court acknowledged guilty most of the eight defendants, including two deputy governors of the region, the then mayor of Mandra, foresters and city planning and river protection officials.

The guilt of the eight defendants in each particular case relates to the crimes of flooding, murder and infliction of bodily harm by negligence, while they were unanimously acquitted due to breach of duty.

November 15, 2017, after heavy rains, the rapid flow of water coming from the mountain flooded part of the city in less than an hour mandra, sweeping away people, vehicles and everything that met in his path, turning part of the city near the capital into a lake full of mud. On the first day of the flood, the water level reached 1.5-2 meters. 24 people drowned and over 1,000 homes and businesses were completely destroyed.

An inspection investigation conducted 1.5 months later found that “human irresponsibility and bureaucracy”, and not “extreme weather conditions”, led to the disaster. According to report on findings, the inspectors noted that the downpour was very heavy, and the simultaneous confluence of two streams covered with construction debris played an important role. The inspectors pointed to the responsibility of state services and departments for the untimely conduct of flood control work, as well as the irresponsibility of local authorities that created the Mandra municipal bus depot over one of the flooded streams.

The procedure continued by the court to examine extenuating circumstances for those found guilty. The decision on the verdict is scheduled to be announced on June 23.

It is worth noting that not a single high-ranking official was “injured” in any case related to violations that led to human casualties. Whether it be a matter of a flood in Megara or a fire in Matiwhere, in total, more than 100 people died.

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