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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-10-29

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <>


  • [01] Police eye 'series of errors' in UK family's poisoning
  • [02] Greece to assume Euro-Med forum

  • [01] Police eye 'series of errors' in UK family's poisoning

    The head of Corfu's security police division on Saturday said a criminal indictment stemming from the carbon monoxide-related death of two British children late last week in a resort on the Ionian holiday island will be concluded in a matter of days, but not on Monday, as originally reported earlier in the day.

    Police commander Dimitris Bineris said a written report by two mechanical engineers who inspected the bungalow suite where the two children's bodies were found will be completed later this week. Authorities have also requested verification of toxicology findings from a specialised clinic in Athens to back up initial conclusions presented by a coroner in a nearby mainland city on Saturday morning.

    The bodies of Christianne and Robert Shepherd, 7 and 6, were found in the room, while their father, Neil, 38, and his second wife, Ruth Beatson, 28, were transported in a comatose condition to a Corfu city intensive care unit. Doctors said the two adults were conscious on Saturday afternoon and recovering.

    In comments the same day, authorities said they were now focusing on a series of inter-related mishaps that reportedly led to the tragedy, namely, a small but constant leak in a gas-fired boiler located in an enclosed utility room -- adjacent to the bungalow -- that caused the unit to overwork; lack of sufficient ventilation in the utility room that caused an accumulation of noxious carbon monoxide generated from the boiler's operation; an opening in the wall allowing pipes to pass between the utility room and the bungalow suite was not completely sealed; the suite's A/C unit apparently did not channel fresh air into the room but rather circulated and re-circulated air between the utility room.

    According to other reports from Corfu, the local prosecutor's office has more-or-less indicated that manslaughter or criminal negligence charges will be filed against the owners of the hotel, its manager, the head of maintenance and those responsible for the construction of the complex once the police indictment is received by the prosecutor's office. Corfu prosecutors will ultimately decide if and what charges to file and against which individuals.

    Hours earlier on Saturday, coroner Theodoros Vouyiouklakis was categorical in ruling carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of death, speaking during a press conference in the northwest city of Ioannina.

    The incident occurred at the Louis Corcyra Beach resort of Gouvia, north of the harbour of Corfu and on the island's east coast. The four holiday-makers from Britain arrived on the island Oct. 23 to begin a seven-day vacation.


    Caption: Greek police investigators examine the bungalow where the bodies of the two British children were found on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006. EPA/ANA-MPA -- CHR. HONDROYANNI.

    [02] Greece to assume Euro-Med forum

    Alicante, Spain (ANA-MPA) -- Greece was tapped to assume the presidency of the Euro-Med forum following the unanimous approval of a Spanish presidency proposal on Saturday giving Athens the chair of the institution.

    The development occurred at the Med Forum being held in Alicante, Spain at the foreign ministers' level, as cooperation amongst all of the basin's countries was high on the agenda.

    The forum's sessions focused on the situation in the Middle East and prospects for the wider region; increasing bilateral cooperation between Mediterranean countries and electing a new presidency.

    ON her part, Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis noted that Greece's election to the one-year post is a nod by friends and partners for Athens to promote issues affecting the entire Mediterranean.

    "This forum aims to deal with the problems of the Middle East, where our country has a significant presence, particularly after Greece's chairmanship of the UNSC. Our goal is for Mediterranean issues to come to the forefront of the EU's attention," she said.

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