Greeces Supreme court prosecutor withdraws intervention on East Attica fire investigation

first_imgA much awaited report on the wildfire tragedy which claimed 99 lives in East Attica was allegedly expected to be delayed following an intervention by Supreme Court prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou.But as of Tuesday, the head of the Athens prosecutor’s office leading the investigation, Ilias Zagoraios, was told to disregard Dimitriou’s request and continue the probe as planned.Zagoraios’ report aims to determine whether there are sufficient indications of wrongdoing by duty-holders in the response and management of the July events, to trigger further investigation and possible criminal charges.Dimitriou had asked for the investigation not to be completed before taking into account the findings of a separate administrative probe underway by the General Inspector of Public Administration, Maria Papaspyrou.However, the request triggered immediate backlash from political parties, the media, and according to Kathimerini even amongst judicial circles, on the basis of an expected long and unnecessary delay of a critical investigation, considering as well that Zagoraios’ tenure in office would normally end in the coming days and his successor would need extra time to deal with an ongoing investigation.The top court prosecutor subsequently backtracked on her proposal on Tuesday, asking Zagoraios to continue with the investigation and remain in his post even after the scheduled end of his term, 1 October, until the report is completed.In response to the criticism, Dimitriou maintains that the purpose of her intervention was to ensure Zagoraios was aware of the other administrative investigation conducted by Papaspyros, while sources at the Supreme Court denied there was any intention behind Dimitiou’s move to delay Zagoraios’ probe.Meanwhile on the same day, Zagoraios also ordered a separate preliminary investigation following allegations of mismanagement by the Municipality of Marathon of donations for fire victims.This comes after photos shared on social media depict inadequate conditions under which donations, including food and perishable items, clothes, appliances and apparel were kept at one collection point.Zagoraios’ criminal investigation on the East Attica fires is reportedly at its final stages, with the Athens prosecutor expected to summon officials for testimony in the coming days.Among those likely to be called are regional and municipal officials, members of the fire service, police, the coast guard and the General Secretariat of Civil Protection.With regards to the progress of the separate administrative investigation conducted by the General Inspector of Public Administration, Papaspirou told journalists it will take at least three months before it is completed. Facebook Twitter: @NeosKosmos Instagramlast_img read more