Fears about tension in jails after guard death

Authorities are investigating whether the murder of a prison guard by an inmate at Malandrino Prison, central Greece, on Tuesday is part of an alleged effort to increase tension at the country’s jails, where the situation is “explosive,” according to a Justice Ministry official who spoke to Kathimerini.

Inmate Ilia Kareli, an Albanian, explained to a prosecutor in Amfissa Wednesday that he stabbed Giorgios Tsironis to death because he was refused a furlough to see his frail mother. The 46-year-old died almost instantly after being attacked with a sharp implement Kareli made from part of a doorframe.

Tsironis, a father of two, was buried on Wednesday as prosecutor Nikos Antonarakos visited Malandrino Prison with the aim of gathering more information about the guard’s death and whether it was the result of a purely private action or part of more widespread tension in the jail.

Supreme Court prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani had launched an urgent investigation last week after an Athens lawyer sent a fax to Corfu prison last week calling on inmates to rise up against the government’s plans to create “Guantanamo-style” high-security prisons. The lawyer has been asked to give evidence on Monday.

The government wants to turn Domokos jail in central Greece into a maximum-security facility for hardened criminals, who would not be granted leave. Justice Ministry sources said prison staff are on a “state of alert” because of fears that inmates will rebel against the plans.