The president and the chief prosecutor of Greece’s Supreme Court on Thursday issued a stern denial of allegations of negligence and procedural delays in legal proceedings related to a deadly train collision, north of the central Greece city of Larissa, which claimed the lives of 57 people, many of which were young university students.

The train collision south of the Tempi Valley entrance occurred late last February near the Evangelismos site, north of the city of Larissa. The unprecedented accident, by Greek standards, witnessed a head-on collision between a north-bound passenger train operated by Hellenic Train and a south-bound freight train. The aftermath sparked a nationwide outrage and accusations against the government (and previous governments)  over safety standards of rail transportation in Greece.

In the wake of the accident, charges of deliberate delays in the legal proceedings have been aired, while opposition parties claim attempts to shield political figures from accountability.

Asserting the institutional independence of the Greek judiciary, Supreme Court Chief Justice Ioanna Klapa and Chief Prosecutor Georgia Adilini dismissed claims of procedural lapses in the investigation and also addressed criticism leveled against the chief prosecutor herself.

Both high-ranking judicial officials emphasized that an investigation has been swiftly concluded with a total of 31 individuals facing criminal charges in connection with the devastating accident. Additionally, they stressed that the trials for the accused defendants will commence without delay, underscoring a commitment to swift and fair justice.