Heavy terms for fugitives

A Piraeus court yesterday handed down a series of heavy jail terms to serial robber Vassilis Palaiocostas and convicted murderer Alket Rizai who have been on the run since escaping from Korydallos Prison in a carbon copy of their June 2006 helicopter escape. Palaiocostas and Rizai, who broke out of Korydallos the day before their trial had been due to begin, were sentenced in absentia for the 2006 jailbreak. Palaiocostas got a 34-year term for escaping from jail and hijacking a helicopter. Rizai got 34 years in jail for the same charges and two life sentences for a double murder in Peristeri, western Athens, in September 2006. The court also handed a 29-year jail term to Vassilis Stefanakos for being an accomplice in the pair’s first helicopter breakout. There has been no sign of Palaiocostas or Rizai since the February 22 escape.

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