Two Terminal Cancer Greek Prisoners Denied Release

May 9, 2019

ATHENS – With high-profile politicians being released from prison early after claiming health problems, two terminal cancer patients were denied, one of whom died after making an amateur video appealing to get out.

Supreme Court Prosecutor Xeni Dimitriou asked the authorities of the capital’s high-security Korydallos Prison to hand over medical files and documents of the patients after reports their request to get out were turned down despite deteriorating health.

Dimitriou’s intervention followed news reports regarding the two terminal cancer patients. One, whose age was not revealed, was suffering from lung cancer but has died.

The second man, aged 91, was eventually transferred to the Metaxa Cancer Hospital in Piraeus after his appeals for release were rejected. Sources not identified told Kathimerini that a probe was ordered to find out whether any members of a judicial board who turned down the release requests should be disciplined.

While one died and the other isn’t getting out, former defense minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos has been walking around Athens, released from prison in July, 2018 after serving only five years of a 20-year sentence for stealing scores of millions of euros from defense contracts.

He said he had multiple health problems after heart surgery. His wife, also convicted, was released after she appealed that she was a mother and they had been seen dining at luxury restaurants together.

Former Thessaloniki Mayor Vassilis Papageorgopoulos, sentenced to life for embezzling 17 million euros ($19.02 million) served only 29 months before being released in 2015 on health grounds as well. In April, a court commuted an eight-year sentence for a second conviction to three years for the former track star and sprint champion.


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