Jail guards in suspected torture death case given extension

Seven guards from Nigrita Prison in northern Greece were given extra time on Wednesday to prepare their defense on charges of torturing to death an Albanian inmate, a day after seven of their colleagues were remanded in custody in connection with the same affair.

The six guards were being held at a police precinct in Serres on Wednesday pending a decision regarding which correctional facility they are to be transferred to. As regards their seven colleagues, a magistrate is to start hearing their testimonies on Friday and is expected to finish on Tuesday.

Ilie Kareli, the 42-year-old inmate, was found dead in solitary confinement on March 27, after being transferred to Nigrita from Malandrino Prison, in central Greece, where he had fatally stabbed Giorgos Tsironis, a prison guard. According to a prosecutor’s investigation, Kareli was allegedly tortured, including being punched, kicked and beaten with a makeshift whip.

The online version of To Vima daily on Wednesday leaked stills from Nigrita Prison’s closed-circuit television cameras, showing Kareli being escorted by guards when he arrived at the prison and then led to his cell several hours later, apparently bruised and half-undressed.