11:10 p.m.
    , August 24, 2019, amended at
                    2:00 p.m.
    , August 25, 2019

"I am doing criminal law since 1984. I can tell you that my client will be acquitted.I am not optimistic, I am sure …" In an Englishman full of Mediterranean sunshine, the "doctor" Nikos Emmanouilidis displays an insurance to any test. The Greek lawyer has, it is true, already won a first victory: although charged with negligent homicide (a crime punishable in Greece by five years of imprisonment per victim), his French client was able to leave the country in exchange the payment of a deposit of 50,000 euros and the commitment to point once a month to the Greek Embassy in Brussels, Belgium, where he resides.

The case made the headlines of the Greek press. Especially since the newspapers have learned that the pilot of the outboard that killed two fishermen last August 9, and seriously injured their sister, belonged to one of the richest families in France, the Mulliez clan.

The two fishermen died on the spot

It takes three hours by ferry from Athens (or 25 minutes by helicopter) to win the pearl of the Greek Riviera, Porto Heli, on the northeast coast of Peloponnese. There is the most expensive hotel in the country and a multitude of luxurious villas in a dreamy natural setting, not far from the island of Hydra and just opposite that of Spetses. At a restaurant on this elegant island in the Argolic Gulf, 44-year-old Hugues Mulliez brought family and friends to dinner on Friday, August 9, with his brand-new boat, a 12-meter semi-rigid equipped with two powerful 350 HP engines. Eleven aboard, including three children, when the tragedy arrives on the way back to Porto Heli. It is then 20h40. The fishing boat, which was in the path of the speedboat, is literally ripped open.

Three people were aboard the boat. Settled in Athens but originally from the area where they had a pied-à-terre, two brothers aged 70 and 60 had embarked the twin sister of the second for a fishing party. Both men were killed instantly. We feared the worst for their sister, but her condition would be improving.

Was the French speedboat sailing too fast?

A family drama and many questions. Was the French speedboat sailing too fast? Was the boat visible as night fell? Cited by several Greek media, the captain of a boat moored near the scene of the accident estimated at nearly 40 knots (80 km / h) the speed of the French, and a diver who participated in the rescue insisted on the fact that the boat was well equipped with a lamp. Ignoring these rare testimonies, Nikos Emmanouilidis maintains that the speed of his client's boat was not "exaggerated" and that the boat had no "permanent installation for the light". "I did not see anything," said Hugues Mulliez when he appeared the next morning to the authorities.


My client first jumped into the water to recover the victims right after the accident


But why such a delay? "My client first jumped into the water to recover the victims right after the accident," said the lawyer at the JDD, then, once arrived at the port, he returned to swim for possible other victims: we did not know how many people were on the boat. " Nikos Emmanouilidis mentions a man "in shock" who would then be injured on the rocks and "lost consciousness". "Everything was confirmed by witnesses and the examination at the hospital of his injuries," says Me Emmanouilidis, who also insists that the blood alcohol tests were "completely negative".

He has discreetly joined Belgium

Handcuffed and face blurred, Hugues Mulliez briefly appeared in front of the cameras at the time of his defeat. He has since quietly joined Belgium, where he resides as many members of this dynasty in the north of France who heads several giants of the distribution as Auchan, Leroy-Merlin, Decathlon … Self-taught, this grand-nephew Gerard Mulliez, the founder of Auchan, had tried to make a name in the family galaxy by buying in 2009 the Surcouf brand (multimedia products). The adventure ended with a judicial liquidation three years later. Today president of the Telecel group, he is increasingly present in the telecom landscape in Africa.

In Porto Heli, relatives of the victims appealed for witnesses and promised to prosecute.


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