NEWS

Five officers accused of torture

An off-duty police officer from Corinth was suspended yesterday after allegedly threatening a motorist with a knife following a dispute over a parking spot, just one day after five Athens policemen were accused of torturing a Chilean detainee at a police precinct in the city center. Reacting to the news of the alleged abuse of the 30-year-old Chilean, who remained in the hospital yesterday with serious injuries, Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis expressed outrage that a «group of officers without consciences turned a migrant detainee into a punching bag.» The five officers were suspended from the force after being charged with abuse of power and torturing a detainee. The minister noted that «torture and the violation of human decency are signs of barbarism that denigrate the rule of law, democracy and the values of Greek society,» adding that those resorting to such behavior «have no place on the police force.» An investigation is to determine the exact circumstances of the migrant’s alleged abuse but initial reports indicated that it began when an officer on duty at the Acropolis police precinct refused to respond to the Chilean’s request to make a telephone call. According to sources, the precinct’s public phone that the detainee had tried to use had been out of order, prompting him to seek the officer’s help. Irked at the detainee’s insistence, the officer is alleged to have punched him in the face. When the detainee resisted, a second officer reportedly rushed to his colleague’s aid. The two are alleged to have beaten the detainee using batons. It appears that the other three implicated officers stood by. The Chilean, who had been detained on charges of arms possession, sustained serious injuries to his torso and limbs. A day later, a 40-year-old police officer from Corinth was suspended after allegedly pulling a knife on a motorist in Loutraki following an argument over a parking space. The officer, off-duty at the time, was charged with weapons possession and threatening behavior.