Diki-Mati: The first witness testified that she lost her brother due to wrong instructions from the authorities


“My brother went this route because he was told to go. There was absolutely no information about where the fire was.”

My brother might have been saved if he hadn’t listened to the Authorities“, testified the first witness in the trial for the tragedy in Mati.

The lawyer, who is also appearing as the Civil Prosecutor in the trial, Sofia – Angeliki Hamilothori, testified in the three-member misdemeanor court that the brother of Panagiotis Hamilothori was trapped in his car and burned, as where the police directed the people, towards Kokkino Limanaki, the people they found “the fire before them”.

The lawyer described the family’s frantic search for her brother, who had sent his partner a photo of the congested road in front of him shortly before he perished in the flames. This photo was decisive in locating the victim, whose body was found a few meters away from the vehicle, as Panagiotis Hamilothoris was trying to walk towards the sea.

The witness spoke of the complete indifference of every official. “Each one was responsible for what happened,” he said characteristically, noting that neither the municipal roads had been cleared, nor the district mobilized to give an evacuation order, since the fire had spread to two municipalities. “If an evacuation had been ordered in time, people would have been saved,” he said and emphasized that neither the Police nor the Fire Department acted properly after directing the citizens, sending the flow of vehicles into the Eye. “No one informed, from the radio, from the media, how the citizens should act… That day there was complete indifference”, testified Mrs. Hamilothori.

According to the witness, that afternoon her brother was returning from his work in Marousi, to his home in Nea Makri. While he usually chose the route from Dionysos, due to the fire that had started, he avoided this route and chose to go from Marathonos “because he thought that the route inside the urban fabric would be safer”.

The witness emphasized that “my brother went on this route because he was instructed to go. There was absolutely no information about where the fire was… People were never informed when the fire passed through Marathon. There was no coordination…. They could have told them to go to the port of Rafina, but they told everyone to go to Kokkino Limanaki. In Mati it appeared that there was a huge concentration of cars. People didn’t know what was going on there and they were going there. They were all sent from the inside.”

As the lawyer testified, she herself lived the nightmare that day going from her law office in Marathon to her home in Drafi. “I found that there were heavy fumes. No flying or aerial craft were in sight. I tried to contact my husband to ask what was going on, but there was a problem with the phones.”

The witness said she couldn’t even communicate with her brother and “snakes started to surround me”. She went with her husband to the port of Rafina.

“We stayed at the port for many hours. As time passed and Panagiotis did not communicate, we began to understand what had happened. We are at the port with Mrs. Fitrou (the woman who lost her husband and two children in the fire), who at that time was informed of her daughter’s death.”


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