Updated: 08/13/2013 21:08 | By Agence France-Presse

Greece arrests architect over Pakistan building collapse

A British architect of Pakistani origin wanted over the collapse of a building in Pakistan in 2005 that killed 78 people during a massive earthquake has been arrested in Greece, police said Tuesday.


Greece arrests architect over Pakistan building collapse

Pakistani police stand guard around the Margalla Towers while rescue workers continue to look for survivors after the building collpased after a powerful earthquake rattled Islamabad, on October 11 2005. A British architect of Pakistani origin -- who is wanted over the 2005 collapse of the Margalla Towers that killed 78 people -- has been arrested in Greece.

Shaikh Abdou Hafeez, 71, was arrested on Sunday on the resort island of Zakynthos under an international warrant and is due to appear before prosecutors on Wednesday, a local police source said.

He is accused of homicide, destruction of public assets and corruption among other allegations, according to a statement from Greek police.

According to the warrant, he was the architect of the Margalla Towers residential complex in Islamabad which collapsed during the October 2005 quake, killing 78 people and injuring 84.

Greek prosecutors are expected on Wednesday to order Hafeez held in custody before going before a Greek court which could then rule on his extradition.

The earthquake itself, which had a magnitude of 7.6 and was centred in Kashmir, killed at least 73,000 people and left several million homeless in one of the worst natural disasters to hit Pakistan.

Margalla Towers, a 10-storey apartment block in the upmarket F-10 sector of Islamabad, was the only major building in the Pakistani capital that collapsed in the quake.

The government pledged to enforce building standards more rigorously in the wake of the disaster and several official inquiries have been held.

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