Minister defends doctoring of suspects' photos, pledges punishment in case of abuse

Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias has promised “merciless punishment” if police officers are found to have abused four bank robbery and terrorism suspects arrested in northern Greece on Friday.

Speaking to Mega TV on Monday morning, Dendias insisted allegations that the detainees had been tortured would be investigated.

“We will not accept any breach of rights,” he said.

However, the minister defended the doctoring of the images of the four suspects that were made public on Sunday.

Authorities appear to have intervened to remove signs of bruising in at least three of the four pictures.

Dendias said the police did so to ensure that the suspects were recognizable.

The Public Order Ministry issued a statement on Sunday insisting that the suspects’ injuries were inflicted when they were arrested on Friday after two armed bank robberies and a chase involving a hostage.

Two of the suspects have been linked to the Conspiracy of the Cells of Fire urban guerrilla group.