After deaths, police told to shape up

Greek Police Chief Giorgos Angelakos yesterday urged regional police heads to ensure the force’s regulations are strictly adhered to in the wake of widespread criticism following the killing of two officers during a prison transfer last week. Meanwhile, Supreme Court prosecutor Dimitris Linos, who has ordered a probe to shed light on the incident, sought to counterbalance some press which suggested that his investigation had been politically motivated. The police said, the escaped Russian inmate, Maxim Zhilim, alleged to have shot the officers, later committed suicide. «The aim of the probe is to clarify the circumstances of (Zhilim’s) death and ensure there are no ambiguities,» Linos said. «The prosecutor’s office does not get involved in political exchanges… It’s key mission is to uphold the law and protect citizens,» he added. He said the probe would seek to «attribute responsibilities» but stressed that police should not be pestered. Police Chief Angelakos, who has faced heavy criticism over the affair, asked regional police chiefs to crack down on lax implementation of regulations, stressing that the onus would be on them, not on the head of the local transportation service, if such an incident was to occur again. Meanwhile, the head of the prisoner transportation service in Ioannina, Stavros Pantazis, and the officer who was on duty when the killings took place, Lambros Tragoudaros, lodged complaints over their suspension in connection with the incident. Angelakos told regional chiefs to ensure that all prisoner transfers are conducted using the minimum number of officers dictated by regulations. Officers conducting transfers must wear bullet-proof vests, be armed and fully briefed on the profile of the inmates being escorted, he said. New Democracy’s central committee secretary, Vangelis Meimarakis, yesterday criticized the police force for «a laid-back attitude based on minimum effort.» Late last night, a Ioannina coroner started a second autopsy on the corpse of 23-year-old Zhilim in Larissa. The first autopsy, conducted by a Larissa coroner on Monday, concluded that the Russian escapee had shot himself.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.