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Society

Three Charged in Racket for Prisoner Releases on Health Grounds

October 23, 2018

ATHENS – While a probe is going on into the release from jail of 700 people who claimed they were ill, a lawyer and at least two psychiatrists tied to a racket that allegedly provided convicts with medical certificates that allowed them to petition for a reduced sentence were arrested.

That spun off an investigation into a case of people selling drugs in clubs that led to the arrest of 17 people, said Kathimerini, with the probe said to have discovered contacts between the suspects and two psychiatrists who served as expert witnesses at the Athens Court of First Instance, as well as the lawyer.

They reportedly provided dealers with official documents showing them to be drug addicts and therefore entitled to special treatment.

A prosecutor is llooking into a third psychiatrist who is also a member of the Greek Police serving at Korydallos Prison’s psychiatric wing and was responsible for treating Aristidis Floros, the convicted power executive who was released on grounds of health but returned after it was found the documents were forged.

Floros was also tied to an assassination attempt of a lawyer, and had produced a certificate that showed he had epileptic seizures and a psychiatric problem, qualifying for a 67 percent disability, the minimum needed for a get-out-of-jail card.

Inmates have to serve some one-fifth of their sentence before being eligible but Floros got out only 18 months into a 21-year sentence although a prosecutor said it was too lenient and had recommended life given the scope of his theft.

Floros, 39 was convicted to 21 years in prison in February 2017 for embezzlement, smuggling and money laundering over the Energa power company scandal, as well as to another 13 years in 2014 for ordering an assassination attempt against a lawyer, was arrested Aug. at his home in the southern Athens suburb of Glyfada.

He had been released from Halkida Prison after presenting judicial authorities with medical evidence that he suffered a disability.

A doctor at the Capital’s Evangelismos Hospital is suspected of arranging it so that Floros would be given medical certificates claiming he suffered from seizures and had a disability of 67 percent and is being investigated already.

That policy was established by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, a party riddled with terrorist and anarchist supporters and those who want the prisons essentially emptied. It’s called the Paraskevopoulos Law after former Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos.
Many of the 700 were freed legally but many others reportedly secured their release using illegal certifications and loopholes in the law, Kathimerini said.

All will be reviewed, however, by prosecutors looking for any irregularities or fraud. Major rival New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said he would scrap the law if he comes to power with his party having big leaders with elections required by October, 2019.

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