Federation of Penitentiary Employees: Vicky Stamati guards are not jail staff

The people guarding Vicky Stamati, the wife of jailed former minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos who escaped from a psychiatric hospital on Thursday morning, belong to special guards and are not jail staff, the federation of penitentiary employees of Greece said on Thursday.

Four guards were arrested and then released pending the conclusion of an investigation into how Stamati, who had been serving a 12-year sentence for collusion in her husband’s armaments kickback case, escaped for the Dromokaiteio Psychiatric Hospital. She had been transferred there from Korydallos Prison for depression and was under guard. The balcony door from which she escaped had a padlock that was found open but not broken.

The federation of jail staff said those guarding inmates outside jails are called “exterior guards” and is overseen by the Greek police and the central services of the ministry of justice. They also said they did not know whether the keys to the room Stamati was in were held by “the nursing staff, the administrative staff or the exterior guard.”