NEWS

Probe into prison drugs death

Greece’s top prosecutor ordered an investigation into the cell death of a female inmate in the top-security Korydallos Prison on Tuesday, after an autopsy yesterday confirmed that the woman died following drug use. Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos instructed Piraeus prosecutors to investigate the death of Katerina Baila, 40, and how the drugs were smuggled into Greece’s largest prison. The incident came almost exactly two years after three women died in their cells and another two became seriously ill following a New Year’s Eve heroin and alcohol binge, again in Korydallos Prison. Baila, a remand prisoner held since July 2003 pending trial for buying, possessing and selling drugs, was said yesterday by Piraeus coroner Ilias Boyiakas to have died of heart and respiratory problems brought on by drugs use. It was unclear what drugs the woman had taken. She was close to the end of the maximum 18-month pretrial detention period. Up to another 10 female inmates tested positive for drugs use late on Tuesday, according to reports yesterday, and are now being questioned about how they procured the substances. Sources closer to the investigation told Kathimerini Baila is thought to have been handed the drugs by a woman during a visit to the Piraeus prosecutors’ offices where she had been taken to testify regarding the charges against her. Upon her return to prison, she is understood to have handed out fixes to other prisoners. In May, a Piraeus court passed suspended prison sentences on the former governor of Korydallos Prison’s women’s section and to four warders over the New Year’s Eve deaths. A female convict, her mother and fiance were sentenced to between six and 15 years for smuggling the drugs in.