ATHENS – Guards were questioned as an investigation has begun into how the wife of a jailed former defense minister escaped a mental hospital.
Vicki Stamati was also serving a jail sentence in connection with the conviction of her husband, Akis Tsochatzopoulos, and somehow walked away from the hospital to which she had been sent after a breakdown.
She had been assigned four guards, who were grilled after she vanished as investigators are trying to determine if she had help in getting out.
Staff at the Dromokaiteio Hospital reportedly said that the padlock on the outside of the balcony door was found to be open in the morning.
They said only the supervisor of the Dromokaiteio nursing staff had a key for that padlock and Kathimerini reported that the shutters of Stamati’s room had been open for several days on approval by medical staff.
One source said the ex-minister’s wife was free to walk around the grounds of the hospital and received frequent visits.
Tsochatzopoulos issued an appeal from Korydallos Prison, where he is serving a 20-year sentence for money laundering, for his wife to return.
She had reportedly left a note saying she wanted to go care for their 8-year-old son after her latet request to be released from jail because she’s a mother had been rejected.
At the same she escaped reports came out that the boy had gone missing too but he was later found at the home of a relative in Fthiotida.
Stamati, who was sentenced to 12 years for money laundering in the same case as her husband, had been receiving psychological treatment for depression since November 2013. .
Appeals court prosecutor Isidoros Dogiakos ordered the investigation and Justice Minister Nikos Paraskevopoulos called for criminal charges to be brought against anyone found to be involved.
But the escape comes as the Paraskevopoulos and the ruling Radical SYRIZA-led coalition government is moving toward releasing terrorists, hardened criminals and the disabled from prison as well as convicted relatives of major crimes offenders who will be allowed to stay under house arrest.