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Greek Ex-Fire Chief Faces Coverup Charges in Deadly Mati Fire

October 19, 2021

ATHENS — The ongoing investigation into the mishandling of July 23, 2018 wildfires under the then-ruling Radical Left SYRIZA has brought charges against a former deputy fire chief who will be prosecuted for trying to cover up a failed response.

Vassilis Mattheopoulos will also face counts of breach of duty and attempted unlawful violence, Greece’s state-run Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA) reported.

The case against him concerns how the fire devastated the seaside village of Mati, with the overall death count including other fronts reaching 102 with 32 seriously injured and the settlement devastated.

In June 2020, audio recordings emerged that were said to include threats by Mattheopoulos against investigator Dimitris Liotsios and will be in the court record, said Kathimerini in a report.

A prosecutor said 27 people should stand trial for criminal negligence and omissions of state mechanisms and local authorities in relation to the fires, including a host of SYRIZA top appointees and municipal officials.

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