Nine Egyptians to stand trial over deadly shipwreck

A member of the Hellenic Red Cross walks toward a warehouse where survivors of the deadly wreck are being treated, in Kalamata, southwestern Greece. [Yannis Kolesidis/EPA]

Almost a year after the deadly shipwreck some 80 kilometers southwest of the town of Pylos in southern Greece, nine Egyptians will stand trial on Tuesday before a criminal appeal court in Kalamata.

According to the indictment, they allegedly took turns piloting the vessel, or were tasked with maintaining order. Two harbor guards have been named as witnesses.

The overcrowded boat capsized and sank on June 14, with passengers from Egypt, Syria, Pakistan and Palestine. They set sail from Tobruk, Libya for Italy. One hundred and four people were rescued and 81 bodies were collected. Based on testimonies that other passengers were on board, the deaths were higher.

The defendants have denied the charges, with their advocates stressing key aspects were not examined, no additional testimony was taken, nor was evidence sought regarding the circumstances of the sinking....

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