Nine Egyptians Face Trial in Deadly Greek Migrant Boat Sinking

Migrant Shipwreck: Greek Authorities Under Fire, 500 Dead, Calls for Accountability

Nine Egyptian men who survived a migrant boat capsizing off Greece last year, which killed hundreds, are to face trial next month on people smuggling charges.

The circumstances surrounding the sinking of the "Adriana" in June remain disputed. Greek authorities and migrant rights groups disagree on what happened. This trial could be the first opportunity to hear official accounts from those onboard.

Survivors allege the Greek coast guard caused the capsizing. Authorities, who tracked the "Adriana" for hours, claim it overturned when a coast guard vessel was nearby. The coast guard denies any wrongdoing.

Exactly what transpired between the coast guard's notification and the capsizing remains unclear. A December report by Frontex, the EU's border agency, stated Greek authorities failed to respond to their follow-up calls and offers of assistance. Frontex could not determine the cause of the capsizing.

The overcrowded fishing vessel, carrying hundreds of migrants from Pakistan, Syria, and Egypt, sank in international waters en route from Libya to Italy. Only 104 men survived, and just 82 bodies were recovered. This tragedy marked the deadliest such incident in years, highlighting the perilous journeys migrants take across the Mediterranean.

The nine Egyptians, held in pre-trial detention since June, face charges including causing the incident, participating in a criminal organization, and migrant smuggling. They deny any wrongdoing. The trial is set to begin in Kalamata on May 21st.

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