Published December 04, 2012
ATHENS, Greece – A Greek court has convicted an elderly villager and four local officials on charges of negligence that led to 36 deaths five years ago in one of the country's worst-ever wildfires.
Judges gave a suspended 10-year sentence to Sofia Nikolopoulou, who was accused of starting the fire accidentally while cooking outdoors in the southern Peloponnese region.
A former local mayor, a regional governor and a fireman received the same sentence for allegedly failing to take sufficient precautions, or not reacting efficiently after the fire started. The court in the southern town of Pyrgos on Tuesday also handed down a suspended five-year sentence to a local fire brigade official.
The August 2007 wildfire ravaged more than 170,000 hectares of land, destroying scores of homes.
All five defendants appealed their convictions.