The appeals trial for the deadly 2018 Mati fire tragedy has been expedited for this summer, and scheduled to begin on July 8, with the prospect of closing arguments in August 2024, as the specific trial will not adjourn for the annual summer holidays.

The expedited scheduling aims to ensure that the statute of limitations does not lapse for any individuals charged in relation to the deadly wildfire, with a deadline set for July 2026.

The Court of Appeals has been tasked with overseeing the trial of those accused in the devastating Mati wildfire, which resulted in 104 fatalities and numerous serious injuries, particularly severe burns.

Proceedings will commence on July 8 at a three-justice appeals court in Athens, where the 21 defendants will be retried, this time at the appellate level, following an appeal against the initial verdict by bench prosecutor Spyros Pappas.

Under Greek law, a bench prosecutor can file an appeal against an acquittal.

This will involve a review of both the sentencing for those defendants convicted in the first instance, as well as the exoneration of other defendants by a three-justice misdemeanor court.

During the first instance trial, six of the 21 defendants were found guilty and received suspended sentences ranging from three to five years in prison.

However, the decision to convert the sentences into a fine of 10 euros per day triggered outrage among the relatives of the victims and the injured parties.