Greek Court Dismisses Charges Against Egyptians in Deadly Shipwreck Case
A Greek court has dismissed charges against nine Egyptians accused of causing a deadly shipwreck last June, resulting in their release from nearly a year of pretrial detention. The court ruled it had no jurisdiction to try the case, as the incident occurred in international waters and did not involve Greek citizens or a Greek-flagged vessel.
The Egyptians had been charged with being part of the crew of the Adriana, a trawler carrying an estimated 700 migrants from Libya to Italy. The overcrowded boat capsized and sank near Greece, leaving only 104 survivors. The defendants faced several life sentences if convicted of being members of a migrant smuggling ring and causing the shipwreck.
Defense lawyers argued the nine were paying passengers wrongly identified as crew members by other survivors. They suggested the defendants were scapegoats used by authorities to blame the tragedy on the trawler’s crew. Eight of the nine were released from a jail near Nafplio on Wednesday evening, while the ninth was released from a different jail.
The shipwreck, which occurred on June 14, 2023, renewed calls for European governments to better protect migrants. The European border agency Frontex reported a rise in illegal border crossings, driven largely by sea arrivals.
The exact circumstances of the Adriana’s sinking remain unclear. Survivors claim the boat capsized after the Greek coast guard attempted to tow it, an allegation denied by Greek authorities. A Naval Court investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Defense lawyer Dimitris Choulis praised the court’s decision and called for a focus on preventing similar tragedies in the future.

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