NEWS

Ruling on cop-linked brothel

An Albanian national was given 25 years in jail, in a court decision made public yesterday, and five others, including three police officers, received suspended sentences for their part in a prostitution ring involving underage girls. After a protracted legal battle, the criminal appeals court handed down the prison term to Ilias Toskas, whose age was not given, for abduction, rape and procuring. The case came to light after allegations in 1999 by two Romanian women, known simply as Gina and Camilia, that they had been forced into prostitution. They claimed that the makeshift brothel in which they were made to work was directly opposite a police station in the southern Athens suburb of Glyfada. They also alleged that police officers frequented the brothel and were given special treatment. The women claim they arrived in Greece in 1998, then aged 15 and 16, in order to work in a cafeteria. However, they say they were handed over to a gang who sexually exploited them. Police officer Constantinos Sardenes, whose age was not released, was convicted of being complicit to rape and was given a four-year suspended jail sentence. The former chief of Glyfada police, K. Adamopoulos, and officer Stylianos Poulos, whose ages were not made known, each received suspended 16-month prison sentences for neglecting their duties. A woman, convicted of being complicit to procurement, also received a suspended 16-month jail sentence, while an 18-year-old Albanian national was handed a suspended 15-month prison sentence for possession of drugs. Six people were cleared of any connection with the ring. Initially, charges had been brought against 27 people but several, thought to be mostly Albanians, fled the country.