Sunday, June 23, 2024

acht Crew Appears in Greek Court for Starting Fire on Hydra Island; Face up tp 20 Years in Prison and a Large Fine

 The 13 crew members of the yacht Persefoni were charged with a felony and ordered to enter a plea on June 17 by the investigating judge, the EuroNews website reporrts today (June 23, 2024). 

If found guilty, they could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years as well as a large fine. 

They were arrested on June 19 for allegedly launching fireworks that caused a fire to break out in a pine forest on the island of Hydra. 

Firefighters managed to put the fire out , but not before it had burned down part of the pine forest. 

The yacht, which had been hired by a group of 17 Kazakh nationals, has since been confiscated by the authorities. 

Hydra's Mayor, Giorgos Koukoudakis said anti--fire zones must be expanded on the island and more access roads built to improve firefighting efforts in the future. 

Although Greece's fires are often caused by extreme heat and fast winds, it  also has a problem with arsonists. 

Last year, Greece significantly increased penalties for both deliberate and negligent arson. The new laws impose fines up to $200,000 and potential prison sentences up to 20 years. 

Greece's Civil Protection Minister, Vassilis Kikilias, warned last week against accidentally triggering wildfires, saying "even the smallest fire can rapidly turn into a fiery front." 

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