A 33-year-old woman, center, with the hood of her coat up and wearing a protective vest, escorted by police, arrives to appear at the court, in Athens, Greece, Monday, April 4, 2022. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
ATHENS – Greek riot police had to set up a phalanx to protect a 33-year-0ld mother accused of killing her daughter with a cat anesthetic as demonstrators tried to break through outside the court where she was being arraigned.
Roula Pispirigou was under heavy guard as she was escorted into the building as a crowd screamed “Death! Death!” and tried to break through, apparently to get their hands on her.
She’s charged with killing her daughter, Giorgina, 9, and media reports said the body would be exhumed because an electronic tablet was put into the coffin, and as authorities are investigating the death of two other of her daughters in the past three years.
The case has shocked and outraged a nation as UNICEF, the United Nations body overseeing children’s rights, said Greece is the worst country in the European Union for quality of life for children who are deemed at risk.
The mother was arrested after the animal sedative Ketamine was found in blood and tissue samples of Giorgina, the case being brought after a prosecutor became suspicious and doctors and staff in the hospital where the girl died said the mother was the only one in the room when she passed away.
A panel of senior coroners is also leading a review into the deaths of the suspect’s two other children: a 3-year-old girl from liver failure in 2019 and a 6-month-old girl in 2021 from a suspected heart defect.
She has denied any wrongdoing, and her lawyers have pointed to the possibility of medical error as a defense without indicating that could have happened three times.
(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)
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