Investigation points to corruption in jails

Investigation points to corruption in jails

An internal investigation by the Citizens’ Protection Ministry has revealed serious cases of corruption and mismanagement by senior officials at Greek penitentiaries, Kathimerini has learned.

The probe by the ministry’s general secretary for anti-crime policy, Sofia Nikolaou, brought to light cases of prison employees who continue to hold top posts despite facing charges, or convictions, for serious disciplinary and criminal offenses.

One example relates to the warden of a penitentiary in northern Greece who is being investigated for breach of duty and an employee at the same jail who continues to work there despite having received a seven-year suspended sentence in 2017 for attempting to smuggle cocaine into the prison.

Although he was initially suspended, and disciplinary action launched against him, he has since returned to work. Nikolaou’s appeal to the disciplinary board for clarity elicited the explanation that the case is one of 20 currently pending.

Another case highlighted by the probe relates to the embezzlement of 30,000 euros by the treasurer of another prison in northern Greece.

In the summer of 2018 he was charged with fraud and embezzlement and is expected to face trial early next year. Meanwhile the warden of that penitentiary last month faced a disciplinary council for breach of duty and neglect.

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