Officers lied over prisoner’s escape

TWO POLICEMEN were yesterday suspended on the Police Chief’s orders, after a prison inmate escaped from their custody while on the way to hospital when they stopped off to buy cigarettes.

Not only were they suspended, but the two officers are also under criminal investigation after it emerged they had lied about the circumstances under which the Syrian inmate had escaped.

Their insincere explanation – that the inmate managed to take off his handcuffs, open the door and escape when the police car stopped at traffic lights – was exposed when they mixed up their statements.

According to the police, further investigations showed that the prisoner had in fact escaped when the policemen had stopped off at a kiosk and one of the two got out to buy cigarettes.

Police Spokesman Michalis Katsounotos yesterday said the two policemen “apparently concealed the true events that led to the inmate’s escape”.

He added: “The Police Chief’s view is that if they had admitted from the start what truly happened, he would have been easier on them.”

Katsounotos said that Police Chief Michalis Papageorgiou made it clear in a meeting yesterday morning that he expected police officers to be responsible people, who take responsibility for their actions when they make mistakes.

“But he repeated his steady and categorical position that mistakes made in good faith can be forgiven and the punishment less severe,” said Katsounotos.