Furlough rules more stringent

The government will re-examine rules regarding furlough offered to prison inmates after a convict allegedly raped a 9-year-old girl while on leave, according to sources. In a phone conversation between Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis and Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis, it was decided the government will clamp down on furlough, particularly for inmates that reoffend. Very soon the minister will announce changes in this direction, said government spokesman Theodoros Roussopoulos yesterday. On Tuesday, police said a repeat child rapist on the run from prison since 1999 had been arrested in Athens after molesting a 9-year-old Albanian girl. The 45-year-old man, a drug addict, was serving a 25-year jail sentence for sexually abusing a minor in 1994 when he disappeared while on leave. He had previously been sentenced to another two years for a similar crime in 1989, and police suspect he was responsible for a series of unsolved child sex offenses in Athens in recent years.