Greece charges 20 people, including politicians, over wildfires | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 05.03.2019
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Greece charges 20 people, including politicians, over wildfires

Politicians and emergency officials have been charged in connection with deadly wildfires in 2018. A hundred people died trying to flee a blaze in Mati, a seaside town near Athens, last year.

Greek prosecutors have filed charges against 20 people over deadly wildfires in 2018.

The accused, including the greater Athens regional authority chief, two local mayors, the former civil protection head and fire service officials, were hit with charges that reportedly include involuntary manslaughter, causing bodily harm due to neglect, and arson through negligence.

They carry a maximum five-year prison sentence.

Read more: Climate change sets the world on fire

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Fires leave Greece in despair

The July 23 fire in Mati killed 100 people and left the seaside resort town devastated. The disaster led to a series of resignations or sackings of fire and police chiefs.

Most of the victims died in traffic jams as they fled, while others drowned escaping into the sea.

Blame was variously placed on the lack of preparedness of emergency services and a glut of illegal construction.

Prosecutors have prepared a 292-page report describing "a series of mistakes" in handling the disaster.

An investigating magistrate will now look into the case.

aw/se (AP, AFP, Reuters)

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