Thomas Cook has revealed Georgios Chrysikopoulos, the general manager of the hotel in Corfu where children Christianne and Bobby Shepard died, has been running another hotel used by the company.
The Mitsis Laguna Hotel in Crete employed Chrysikopoulos from 1 April this year. Thomas Cook said it immediately started an investigation and discovered Christos Louvros, the hotel electrician found guilty of unlawful killing by the Corfu trial in 2010, was also employed at the hotel.
In a statement, Thomas Cook said it had been unaware of Chrysikopoulos’s appointment until an ITV investigation uncovered it, and the broadcaster revealed its discovery to Thomas Cook.
The statement said:
This hotel is currently available to book through Thomas Cook. As soon as Thomas Cook was informed, we contacted the Mitsis Hotel Group management, and the individual was dismissed from his post immediately.
At Thomas Cook, the health and safety of our customers is our primary concern and while we are confident that the health and safety processes at the property meet with our required standards, as a precautionary measure, our Group Head of Risk and Audit arrived at the property this morning to conduct a full health and safety audit of the premises with independent auditors.
Peter Fankhauser, Group Chief Executive of Thomas Cook Group, said:
I felt physically sick when I heard that our hotel partner made this appointment without our knowledge. It is unacceptable that the people convicted of the deaths of Robert and Christianne have been exposed to Thomas Cook customers.
As soon as ITN informed us, we took immediate action. Within an hour of being advised, our director of risk and audit immediately departed for the hotel.
This property has already been certified as compliant with our health and safety requirements and our head of risk and external advisers have today reconfirmed this.
Fankhauser meeting with Sharon Wood and Neil Shepherd
Fankhauser met today with the parents of Christianne and Bobby Shepard, the two children who died at a Corfu resort in 2006.
Thomas Cook has been under fire after it emerged it accepted around £3.5 in damages and legal fees – far more than the bereaved parents were awarded.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet and listen to Sharon Wood and Neil Shepherd. Having heard what they have had to say today my heart breaks for them.
This is a meeting which should have happened when I first took over as chief executive in November and frankly something Thomas Cook should have done 9 years ago.
Following our meeting today, we came to a mutual understanding which I hope will enable them to move on with their lives.