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Korydallos prison director under investigation for release of a killer

27 November 2012 / 16:11:41  GRReporter
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By decision of the Minister of Justice, the director of the largest Greek prison – the one in Korydallos and two guards were temporarily suspended from duty. The reason for the punitive measure was the release of one of the four arrested for the murder of two Dias policemen on 1 March last year.

The four executioners of the young policemen Ioannis Evangelinelis and George Skiloyiannis were captured on 6 May 2011 - three months after the bloody end of the police chase.

Due to the proverbial delays by the Greek justice system, there were several publications in August this year warning that the statutory 18-month detention period would expire soon. Pressed by the possibility of having to release the four killers, the authorities divided the court files: one for the robbery in the pavilion in Menidi and another one for the murder of the policemen.

The Athens regional prosecutor’s office took the decision and there was a new order to speed up the implementation of trial procedures against the accused.

On 2 October this year, the four apprehended sat in the dock in the case of the robbery. One of them was freed from guilt. An order for his release was issued without being verified and established that he was on trial in the case of the killing of the policemen.

According to the source, the document containing the charge of intentional murder had "disappeared" from his folder in the prison’s office for a few hours. He left the prison holding the order of release and then disappeared.

An interesting fact is that according to a press release of the Ministry of Justice, the information was given only yesterday although the prosecutor’s office of the Court of Appeal of Piraeus had issued an order for a preliminary investigation regarding the early release 20 days ago.

At the same time, one of the chief prison guards said that the so-called VIP prisoners were neighbours in the cells in Korydallos. Politicians, businessmen and other financially strong prisoners "have a good time and do not consume the food from the prison canteen." According to Antonis Aravantinos, "Whoever has the money can order whatever he wants, even delicacies like smoked salmon."

Among the most privileged prisoners in his words was former Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos who was living alone in a cell in the so-called "suites sector" in Korydallos. All cells there had TVs, and their occupants could order food from outside. "Do you know a place where rich people live worse? They order products from the supermarket. Yesterday, one of them ordered smoked salmon. What can we do since he has the money to order? The system allows them to lead this life in prison. If something happens to Tsohatzopoulos or Gavalas, they will accuse us of killing them," said the guard on a television broadcast.

As he said, some others like the former owner of the football club of AEK and Kavala, Makis Psomiadis, had cellmates. However, he was spending most of the time in the room of the chief guards, telling them funny stories all day long. His son was always with him. He ordered coffee from the shop in the prison and often returned it defining it as "unacceptable".

His cellmate Yiannis Sbokos, who is the latest addition to the "5-star" sector of the Korydallos prison, could not yet realize where he was. The defendant in the case of bribery for military supplies was all day occupied with his defence, talking with his seven lawyers.

Fashion "guru" Lakis Gavalas was sharing his cell with the businessman from Katerini, George Sahpatzidis, also accused in the bribery case of Akis Tsohatzopoulos. In this case, the relations between the cellmates were more formal but polite as well. The former strong figure in the PAOK football club was occupied mostly with the prison church and Lakis Gavalas – with gymnastics. Moreover, on a small TV in the booth of the sector’s guard, he was watching all afternoon shows in which the participants were discussing the local high-life.

From left to right: Makis Psomiadis, Costas Yanikos, Lakis Gavalas and Akis Tsohatzopoulos, collage:

Sector 6 had nothing in common with the remaining crowded and dirty part of the prison. It was very clean and the day started formally at 07:15 am with the unlocking of the cells. VIP prisoners were walking in the shared areas, playing board games, drinking coffee in the prison café, cleaning the church, ordering from restaurants grilled meat, pizzas and Chinese food, and calling relatives and friends. They were locked in their cells for three hours after twelve at noon and again after nine in the evening.

Recently, the former owner of the company for the sale of electricity Hellas power and a fan of the good life, Vassilis Milionis, had been moved to sector 6. However, he was sent very quickly to the psychiatric area because of problems of this nature.

Following the statements of the chief guard, the regional prosecutor's office has ordered an emergency disciplinary investigation to determine the employees responsible for the not quite prison life of some of the inmates of Korydallos prison.


Tags: Crime newsKorydallos prisonProsecuot's investigationVIP prisoners
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