It has been revealed that a British national was among the guests on a superyacht 'that triggered Greek wildfires with fireworks' but cops have since released him after he claimed he was watching the Euros on TV during the display. 

The Brit, alongside a dozen other foreigners alleged they had been watching a Euro 2024 football match on board the vessel as its crew blasted fireworks over the Greek island of Hydra on Friday. 

This then led to a massive brush fire and the razing of more 70 acres of lush pine forest - the only one on the island.

The revelation comes a day before the 13-member crew – all Greeks – appear before an investigating magistrate to testify in connection with arson charges

If intent is established, authorities say, then the crew members, nine men and four women, could each face up to 20 years in prison and up to a staggering €200,000 in fines.

Details of the crew have not been released, but local media have also identified Daniyar Abulgazin, one of Kazakhstan’s richest men, as a guest on the 176-ft, triple deck, Persefoni I. 

He was among six other Kazakhs, the Briton and two Polish nationals, according to a manifest obtained by the Daily Mail.

The guests, including Abulgazin’s son and wife, Aidan Suleimenova, who heads one of Kazakhstan’s biggest charities, were questioned by authorities but quickly released.

They denied any involvement in the fire sparked by crew members who allegedly fired fireworks over the island of Hydra, setting a massive wildfire in its only pine forest, late Friday.

Abulgazin, the Briton and two Polish nationals have instead claimed that they were watching a Euro 2024 football match - but the specific game was not clarified.

On Friday, three matches took place, including Poland vs Austria, Netherlands vs France, and Slovakia vs Ukraine. 

All the passengers have since then fled the country with flight records showing a private jet regularly used by Abulgazin departing Athens airport for Almaty, Kazakhstan’s biggest city. 

It was not immediately clear whether the unnamed British national fled with him.

Authorities had arrested 13 crew members and passengers from the yacht, and they were later seen covering their faces as they entered the courtroom in Piraeus, southern Athens.

Prosecutors then requested the temporary confiscation of the yacht while witness reports were collected by the Hydra Port Authority from nearby yachts and from a captain near the yacht who saw the flares.

Greece's minister of climate crisis and civil protection, Vasilis Kikilias, said: 'Six airplanes and two teams of firefighters, who had to be absent from dealing with other fires and services, were required to put it out.'

He added that an estimated 1,200 hectares (3,000 acres) of forest was lost to the blaze.

Also following Friday's blaze, the mayor of Hydra, Giorgos Koukoudakis, expressed 'outrage' and vowed legal action against those responsible.

On top of calling for legal action against 'irresponsible' people, Mayor Koukoudakis told said that authorities had to create more anti-fire zones and roads through forests. 

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2024-06-25T15:07:45Z dg43tfdfdgfd