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Athens News Agency: News in English, 06-01-04

Athens News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Athens News Agency at <http://www.ana.gr/>

CONTENTS

  • [01] Police urges vigilance in prisoners' transport

  • [01] Police urges vigilance in prisoners' transport

    Top police commanders from around the country on Wednesday were ordered by the force's (EL.AS) chief to give priority to regulations governing the transport of prisoners, less than a week after a Russian man in custody on a murder charge killed two escorts during an escape.

    The issue dominated a wide-ranging same-day meeting at the EL.AS headquarters in Athens, chaired by police chief George Aggelakos. Stepped up vigilance to combat carelessness and apathy in the execution of police officers' duties was also stressed.

    The double slaying of the two officers, a driver and guard, by 23-year-old Maxim Zhelin last Friday comes nearly five years after a notorious local felon, Costas Passaris, shot dead two policemen escorting him to a hospital in Athens.

    Zhelin was found dead with a bullet wound in the head on Monday morning some 1.5 kilometres from a remote mountain roadway where he escaped, while Passaris was arrested in November 2001 in Bucharest, Romania and later convicted on murder and armed robbery charges there.

    Meanwhile, the head of the Supreme Court prosecutor's office, Dimitris Linos, on Wednesday defended his order for a preliminary investigation into the circumstances surrounding Zhelin's death, amid a flurry of press coverage over the case.

    Linos first dismissed any notion that the probe smacks of political intervention, reminding that the judiciary is an independent institution whose first duty is to uphold legality and to protect citizens. He added that the preliminary investigation aims to leave no unanswered questions over Zhelin's death .

    Finally, in an unrelated matter, final instructions were given to police commanders on the issuance of new state-of-the-art passports by police precincts around the country, as centrally governed law enforcement authorities finally replaced prefectures in issuing passports as of this week.


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