Murder suspect moved to another prison after video surfaces showing other inmates assaulting him
Video showing the jailhouse assault of a 19-year-old man remanded in custody pending trial in relation to the murder of a 21-year-old college student was broadcast by an Athens television station on Monday, and immediately circulated over the Internet and other media.
An urgent investigation was ordered by the justice ministry into the circumstances of the assault at the Avlona prison, due north of Athens. The grainy footage shows a group of what appears to be other inmates angrily confronting the man in a cell, before punching and kicking him. The incident was apparently recorded with a cell phone, another item that inmates and prisoners in remand are forbidden from possessing in Greek correctional facilities.
The Avlona facility mainly houses juvenile and young adult offenders.
The 19-year-old, an Albanian citizen who has resided on Rhodes for most of his life, was moved to another facility after a brief hospitalization and placed under increased protection from the general prison population. He was indicted, along with a 21-year-old Rhodes man, on charges of raping and murdering Eleni Topaloudi earlier this month. The woman, from Didymoticho in extreme NE Greece, was attending a local university on the island.
In a later statement, the office of Alexis Kouyias, the very high-profile trial attorney representing the family of the murder victim, issued a statement saying it was unacceptable, “for a democratic country such as Greece, for the Lynch law to exist,” a reference to the incident as an example of an attempted lynching.
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