Four guards detained over jailed ex-minister’s wife escape from mental health unit

Four prison guards in charge of guarding Viki Stamati, the spouse of jailed ex-Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos who escaped in the early hours of Thursday from a mental health facility, were arrested on the same day. All four were expected to face a local prosecutor on Thursday.

Stamati disappeared from the Dromokaitio mental health facility a few hours after her fifth appeal for release from jail was rejected by judicial authorities. She received a 12-year prison term along with her husband, who was sentenced for accepting kickbacks from arms deals during his tenure as defense minister. Stamati, who has spent 35 months in custody so far, had been receiving mental care for depression since November 2013.

Sources indicated to Kathimerini that one or more accomplices may have assisted Stamati to escape after a padlock on her hospital room’s balcony was found unlocked.