By 2018-06-11 InPortugal

Three new arguidos join list of names facing fire-death prosecution

The tortuous investigation into names to carry the can for some of the deadly consequences of last summer’s raging wildfires has seen three new ‘arguidos’ join the list.

Initially reports claimed that none could be be identified beyond the fact that they all held responsibilities over so-called clear-cut belts on the side of roads where so many people died in the Pedrógão Grande inferno (click here).

Within less than an hour, Expresso had named the new suspects: Pedrógão Council’s deputy mayor, council engineer Margarida Gonçalves and ‘general council employee’ António Castanheira.

The three join seven others facing prosecution for negligence and negligent homicide (click here), among them employees of road authority Ascendi, and three fire/ Civil Protection chiefs.

Says Público, the Public Ministry is forging ahead with this investigation, hoping to have everything ready by the end of August (also the end of Portuguese judicial holidays).

The Pedrógão Grande blaze began almost a year ago and rapidly turned into the worst fire for fatalities in Portugal’s living memory. Sixty-seven people lost their lives, 250 people were injured – some of them seriously – while 50,000 hectares of land was devastated, including hundreds of houses.

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