Spotlight on prison deaths

A senior Piraeus prosecutor yesterday ordered an in-depth investigation into the four suspected drugs deaths that occurred this year in Greece’s largest prison. The prosecutor who will handle the probe will seek potential links between the four deaths, and will look into whether prison officials ought to be held accountable. The investigation follows the death, last Thursday, of Korydallos convict Kyriakos Asvestas, 23, who had apparently taken drugs in his cell. His two cellmates survived after being rushed to the prison hospital. After the incident, Justice Ministry sources said the government had hushed up at least another two, or possibly three, drugs-related deaths in Korydallos this year, and had tried to keep secret the Asvestas incident – into which the ministry has ordered a disciplinary probe. Last December, a remand prisoner in the Korydallos women’s section died after taking drugs. And almost exactly two years earlier, three female convicts were found dead following a drugs-and-alcohol binge.

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