The prosecutor of Greece’s Supreme Court, Vassilios I. Pliotas, on Monday called for an investigation into a possible organized arson plot on the part of a criminal organization after fires ravaged the country for the past week.
The Supreme Court prosecutor referred to “deliberate organized criminal activity” that may have been behind the fires which torched several regions of Greece in the past days.
Pliotas, stated there were “reasonable suspicions of deliberate organized criminal activity and not only of a simple, accidental phenomenon of coincidence of incidents of negligent behavior.”
He went on to state that “the criminal procedural arsenal (removal of telephone secrecy, conduct of investigations, special investigative acts, etc.) must be activated in all its scope in order to control and utilize any useful relevant information” as part of the investigation.
“Incalculable Damage” May Be Due to Arson Plot
The order of the prosecutor of the Supreme Court reads as follows:
“The excessive number of fires, of unusual intensity and extent, that have occurred in recent days, resulting in incalculable damage to the natural environment (especially the forest resources of the country), buildings, facilities, agricultural land and crops and tourist Infrastructures, even endangering the lives of a large number of our fellow human beings, as well as the “synchronization” in their manifestation, create reasonable suspicions of deliberate organized criminal activity and not only of a simple, accidental phenomenon of incidents of negligent behavior.
“Following this, we ask, in the context of the ex-officio preliminary investigation according to article 245 par. Directorate for the Prevention of Arson Crimes of the Police, to gather all the critical data that provide indications for the existence of an organized plan and central planning for a single action of arson-members of a criminal organization, i.e., for committing the crime of article 187 par. 1 and 2 of the Penal Code: inclusion and management of a criminal organization that seeks to commit crimes of arson in forests and common crimes of arson (articles 264 par. 1 and 265 par. 1 item b, c of the Penal Code).
“It goes without saying that the criminal procedural arsenal (removal of telephone secrecy, conduct, investigations, special investigative acts, etc.) must be activated in its entirety in order to control and utilize all relevant relevant information. For the progress of the preliminary investigation during the formation of the relevant criminal case, the Supervising Prosecutor of Appeals will inform the competent Deputy Prosecutor of the Supreme Court Mr. Lambros Sofoulakis.
“The Prosecutor of the Supreme Court, Vassilios I. Pliotas.”
Meanwhile on the island of Evia, separate fires continue to rekindle on Monday after much of the northern portion of the idyllic island went up in flames over the past several days.
By Monday morning, more than 160,000 acres of land had been burned completely by fires in three different parts of Greece.
These parts include the north of Evia, the north of Attica, and Laconia in the southern Peloponnese.
This was announced by the meteorological service of the National Observatory of Athens (NOA) on Sunday evening.
Evia Fires: Largest Destruction in History of the Island May be Due to Arson Plot
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According to the NOA statement, the burned areas on the island of Evia cover more than 115,000 acres but this could very well change upwards as the fires on the island are still raging uncontrolled.
27,000 acres is the size of the destroyed land in Laconia, and 20,000 acres in northern Attica.
Situation in Evia Still critical
The situation remains difficult on the Greek island of Evia, as small and large active fire fronts remain active in many parts of the north.
The entire northern half of the island continues to be covered by thick smoke, making breathing extremely difficult in many areas of the island.
Additionally, gas stations run low on gas, making driving in the area extremely difficult for many.
The villages of Kamatriades and Galatsades are the main areas where firefighters focus on Monday, with the assistance of aircraft and helicopters.