Police suspended after ‘torture’

The Interior Ministry yesterday suspended seven officers from the main police station in Corinth, including the senior officer, as an internal investigation gets under way into allegations of the beating and torture of a foreign detainee. The 35-year-old Romanian, who is reportedly mentally handicapped, was detained on Monday morning following a string of complaints lodged by local residents who claimed that he had been ringing the doorbells of their homes before running away and that he had burnt some piles of dry grass in the area. While in custody, the man is alleged to have been tortured and badly beaten by several officers. The detainee had been due for transfer to Nafplion jail later on Monday but was instead taken to a remote location where he was allegedly beaten again by the four officers who accompanied him in the police van. The officers then drove off, leaving him there bleeding and unconcious. According to an official of the police’s internal affairs unit, which is probing the alleged crime, the 35-year-old remained in a comatose state for several hours. «We are awaiting a medical examiner’s report to determine exactly what happened,» the source told Kathimerini. The Romanian was discovered on Tuesday morning by a laborer at a nearby farm who called an ambulance and got him to hospital. The state of the 35-year-old’s health was yesterday unclear. The police station chief, who was not named, is alleged to have given the order to the four officers to dump the Romanian at the roadside instead of taking him to jail as had been planned. The police chief is likely to face criminal charges, the nature of which had not been determined yesterday. His subordinates face a string of charges including torture, grievous bodily harm and exposing a detainee to danger.