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Corrupt minister’s wife escapes from prison

02 April 2015 / 10:04:04  GRReporter
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The wife of former Minister of Defence Akis Tsochatzopoulos, Vicky Stamati, escaped from Dromokaitio Psychiatric Hospital this morning. She was undergoing a treatment under police guard, as she is sentenced to 12 years in prison in the case against her husband for receiving bribes in arms deals.
The guards found, at about 5:45 am today, that Stamati’s room in the hospital was empty. According to the initial assessments of the authorities, she had probably escaped from the balcony of her room between 1:30 am when the last check for the previous day was carried out and 5:00 am, an hour before the first check of patients today.

It is worth noting that officers of Korydallos prison were guarding Vicky Stamati’s room and the balcony door was padlocked. In the morning, however, the padlock was found broken and the door open. It is not clear how Vicky Stamati was able to pass through the courtyard of the hospital without being noticed by the guards who were there.

According to sources, Vicky Stamati had left a letter on her bed before escaping. It is stated that the policemen had found in her room a letter to her husband Akis Tsochatzopoulos, in which she had declared that "the mother should be with her child."

According to principal of the psychiatric hospital Isidoros Proios, guards in three shifts had been guarding Stamati and held the room keys. In his words, she could not have escaped without the assistance of another person.

Yesterday the judicial council rejected Stamati’s fifth request to be released. In it she pointed out that she was "involuntary hospitalized in Dromokaitio" because she was suffering from a major depressive disorder and could not sleep more than two hours a day.

In statements to a Greek TV her lawyer Frangiskos Rangousis appealed to her to return to her child "immediately and healthy." He said he had spoken with her at about 9:00 pm last night for the last time and did not hide his concern that she could possibly put an end to her life.

"She was desperate. She thanked me and told me she would not die in Dromokaitio abandoned and crazy. She said she would be with her child," Rangousis said, adding that after the last rejection of her request to be released Vicky Stamati was very calm unlike previous times.

As for her escape her lawyer said she "did not have the means" for doing such a thing and stressed, "She is very far from doing such things. She is a helpless being."

According to her mother, Vicky Stamati talked on the phone with her 8-year-old son at about 9:00 pm last night. "She was very worried and despairing because the judicial council had rejected her request," she said. Her brother in turn appealed to her to return to the hospital and stated that the only thing his sister was constantly saying was that she wanted to return to her child.

Having established her escape, the police have immediately launched a major operation to find Vicky Stamati. The investigation of the case is managed by the Ministry of Justice.

Vicky Stamati was placed in a psychiatric hospital in October 2013 after being sentenced to 12 years in prison for complicity in taking money from the bribes of her husband Akis Tsochatzopoulos. From that moment up until yesterday, Stamati had filed five requests to be released, the main argument in them being that her son is growing up with neither of his parents - but the judicial council rejected all of them.


Tags: Crime newsVicky StamatiAkis TsochatzopoulosEscapePrisonPsychiatric hospital
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