One of the two people charged with the murder of the young college student in Rhodes suffered a brutal assault at the Avlona prison, where he is detained, waiting for trial.
The incident was caught on video, apparently from a mobile phone, which surfaced online and made the rounds on many Greek news outlets.
The grainy footage shows a group of inmates verbally attacking and humiliatibg the alleged rapist and murderer, asking him to remove his clothes before proceeding to punch and kick him. The 19-year-old man is heard saying “I didn’t do it, it was the other guy”, referring to his co-defendant, who is detained elsewhere. Another inmate is heard to call for his pants to be removed.
The young man was transferred to the Evangelismos hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries. He claimed that he lost consciousness while he was being hit, and when he regained his senses, he found himself without clothes. He claimed that he was raped, something that, according to the Proto Thema website, was confirmed by the medical report. Speaking to a Greek TV station, an inmate who claimed to be one of the assailants, said that there were seven of them, armed with knives that they fabricated out of iron scraps.
Subsequently, the 19-year-old was transferred to a different facility, where he will remain until his trial for the rape and murder of Eleni Topaloudi in Didymotiho.
An urgent investigation was ordered by the justice ministry into the circumstances of the assault, given that the defendant was held in solitary confinement, to be kept apart from the general population. The investigation will also determine how the assailants took hold of a cell phone, a forbidden item in Greek correctional facilities.
Responding to the video, Yannis Topaloudis, the murdered student’s father, spoke to the Greek media to condemn the assault and express his support to the alleged murderer’s parents. The Topaloudis family’s lawyer, Alexis Kougias, issued a statement saying it was unacceptable “for a democratic country such as Greece, for the Lynch law to exist.”