NEWS

Jailbreak claims another job

As prison authorities admitted yesterday that three convicts had broken out of a Peloponnesian jail on Sunday, the minister of justice’s right-hand man stepped down after a tabloid accused him of making a decision that facilitated the escape last week of a dangerous murderer from Korydallos prison in Athens. Justice Ministry Secretary-General Prodromos Assimiadis’s resignation «on grounds of principle» was accepted by Minister Philippos Petsalnikos. It followed yesterday’s front-page story by the right-wing Apoyevmatini daily, which claimed Assimiadis, a retired judge, «did a political favor» to US convict Peter Sedhom, whose carefully organized escape in the company of an apparently love-struck female prison psychologist prompted a purge in Greece’s largest jail with the governor, chief warder and others being suspended. The paper published an order signed by Assimiadis on April 24 for Sedhom – who had been brought to Korydallos from a Corfu prison for psychiatric tests to check his claim of being a drug addict – to be kept in the Athens prison, as he was due to be tried in the capital on May 13 for another murder. Sedhom, a 32-year-old extortion gang member and drug trafficker, has been charged with killing another inmate when he was in Korydallos in January. Last Monday, he walked out of the prison’s main gate disguised as a doctor, escorted by psychologist Olga Atzamoglou, 45. Meanwhile, Petsalnikos ordered an investigation yesterday into Sunday’s escape of three Romanians serving theft sentences from a low-security prison next to the Mycenaean site of Tiryns, near Nafplion in the northeastern Peloponnese. Daniel-Sulian Vankea, 30, Mibel Nicolan, 30, and Ciprian Ischim, 26, escaped at around 7.45 p.m. after beating up a warder.