Inmate who murdered guard beaten before he died, says coroner

An investigation was launched on Friday into the circumstances surrounding the death of Ilie Kareli, the 42-year-old Albanian inmate who killed a prison guard on Tuesday, after he was found dead in a prison cell and a coroner’s report indicated that he had suffered serious injuries after being beaten with a blunt instrument.

Kareli was found dead late on Thursday after being placed in solitary confinement in Nigrita prison in northern Greece. He had been moved there from Malandrino jail in central Greece after after stabbing to death prison officer Giorgos Tsironis. The 46-year-old victim died instantly after his windpipe was severed in the attack.

Coroners Mina Georgiadi and Eleni Zangelidou examined Kareli’s corpse and concluded that he had suffered several fractures to his sternum as well as extensive bruising to other parts of his body. The medical examiners said he had been beaten up to three days before his death.

Guards at Nigrita prison said they had noticed Kareli’s bruises when he arrived at the facility. They said he declined to be seen by a doctor and instead asked for “some rope to hang myself.”

He was placed in a room that was monitored by CCTV and was seen seen lying down at around 6.30 p.m., less than three hours after arriving at the jail. Guards noticed at around 11.30 p.m. that he was not moving and entered his cell to find him dead. The footage from the camera has been given to police.

The association of prison guards expressed regret over Kareli’s death and backed an investigation into its causes.