In what could be precedent-setting court case, the Hungarian based news agency Remix News reported that Greek authorities have charged an Afghan man over the death of his son after the inflatable boat in which they were travelling capsized off Samos earlier this month.

The man, aged 25, reportedly survived the sinking of inflatable boat on 8 November, and was able to reach the Samos shore from where he tried to get help to find his six-year-old son. The child’s body was discovered the following morning.

Greek authorities charged the father for being responsible for his son’s death and the case that is the first of its kind in Greece may set a legal precedent aimed at deterring illegal migrants from bringing their children with them on their journeys into Europe.

The accused man, who could face up to six years in prison, has blamed the Greek Coast Guard for arriving several hours too late after the sinking of the vessel.

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A Greek Coast Guard spokesman said that it was too dark to carry out a search of the area after arriving on the scene.

The International Organisation for Migration has said that 575 people have drowned this year in trying to cross over to Europe.