Court appearance of station master in Greece train crash delayed

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The station master implicated in Greece’s deadliest train crash will appear before a prosecutor and an examining magistrate on Sunday after his deposition was deferred on Saturday. The station master, 59, is accused of placing two trains running in opposite directions on the same track. At least 57 people died when a passenger train slammed into a freight carrier late Tuesday at Tempe, 235 miles north of Athens. The government has blamed human error, and the station master faces charges of negligent homicide and bodily harm, as well as disrupting transportation. Days of protests against the perceived lack of safety measures in Greece’s rail network have taken place in the wake of the disaster. Stephanos Pantzartzidis, the station master’s lawyer, told reporters waiting outside the court on Saturday in the central Greek city of Larissa that “very important new evidence emerged that force us to request a postponement” in his client’s deposition, or giving of sworn evidence. Authorities have not released the accused station master’s name. Also on Saturday, one of the three members of an expert panel named by the government to investigate and issue a report on the collision resigned after opposition parties and some media outlets criticised his appointment. Thanasis Ziliaskopoulos served as chairman and chief executive of the country’s train operator from 2010 to 2015 and is currently the chairman of the Greek agency in charge of privatising state-owned assets. Funerals for some of the people killed in the crash, many of them in their teens and 20s, took place in northern Greece. The force of the crash and a resulting fire complicated the task of identifying the victims, which is being done through next-of-kin DNA testing. Some families have yet to receive the remains of their loved ones. Police said 54 people have been positively identified
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