希臘從去年年底到現在,還真是不平靜阿!!沒錯,這標題就是這幾天鬧得沸沸揚揚的頭條新聞,星期天竟然有囚犯坐著直升飛機這樣越獄了,整個像極了美國影集越獄風雲帥氣Michael Scofield這樣逃跑了,這囚犯還是二度逃跑,不知道該說是逃犯真的像Michael這麼精明,還是希臘的監獄看管漏洞百出,才能夠讓囚犯光天化日下坐著直升飛機遠去. (看到新聞上這逃犯先生模樣,並沒有Michael英俊帥氣的臉)
希臘警方指出，四十三歲的帕琉科斯塔斯和三十四歲的阿爾巴尼亞手 下李塞，先前因越獄而被移送到首都雅典附近的柯瑞達洛斯監獄，預定二十三日為先前逃獄案出庭應訊。二十二日下午，一架直升機在監獄中庭上空徘徊，由一名女 性同夥放下一條繩梯，接走他們。當時地面上的獄警向帕琉科斯塔斯等人開火，機上的女同夥也以自動步槍還擊，所幸無人受傷。
直升機當天稍晚被 人發現棄置在雅典以北的一條公路附近，駕駛員全身被綁，嘴巴被堵住，還被戴上頭罩蒙住眼睛。他告訴警方，一對夫妻說想從希臘中部的伊提亞鎮前往雅典，因此 包下這架直升機，前幾週也曾多次包機。他宣稱遭到歹徒綁架，被迫參加這起大膽的劫獄行動，並供稱有兩輛車在直升機降落處接應，將帕琉科斯塔斯等人載走。
先 前因搶劫銀行與綁架案而服刑的帕琉科斯塔斯及殺人犯李塞，早在二○○六年六月就曾以相同手法逃離同一座監獄，令當時的典獄長等官員氣得跳腳。雖然李塞在當 年九月、帕琉科斯塔斯在去年八月先後落網，但對這對監獄老鳥來說，上次落跑的經驗令其嘗到重獲自由的甜頭，也因此惡向膽邊生，再次故技重施。
Fugitive Vassilis Palaiocostas (above) is seen in a mug shot released by police yesterday. Left: Ministers emerge from yesterday’s emergency Cabinet meeting with glum faces, as Justice Minister Nikos Dendias (top) comes out of Maximos Mansion to face the press.
As a massive police hunt got under way yesterday for a notorious criminal and his Albanian accomplice, who escaped from Korydallos jail on Sunday in a spectacular repeat of their 2006 helicopter breakout, four prison guards and the helicopter pilot were detained.
Justice Minister Nikos Dendias called for the bank accounts of the four guards, who face charges of complicity, to be opened amid speculation that the operation had been funded using part of the 6-million-euro ransom Vassilis Palaiocostas netted after kidnapping a prominent Thessaloniki industrialist last year.
As ruling conservative cadres argued about who was to blame for the stunning security lapse, reports said an inmate had warned prison guards about an impending escape by Palaiocostas and that the serial robber’s Albanian accomplice Alket Rizai had beaten up a fellow inmate for talking about his plans to escape.
Meanwhile Dendias heralded much-delayed security measures for prisons. These include waiving the right to anonymity for owners of prepaid card cellphones so police can trace suspects’ calls, the more selective recruitment of prison guards and better training for all prison staff. A spokesperson for the union of prison guards referred to “massive shortfalls” in training.
Government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros appeared to lay the blame for the lapse on the previous PASOK government. “Parts of the (prison) system have been so undermined that the many measures that were implemented (after the first escape in 2006) proved ineffective.” Anastassis Papaligouras, who had been justice minister at the time of the 2006 outbreak, said he had reacted then by implementing 16 measures. But he noted, “Upgrading security infrastructure unfortunately cannot substitute the crucial human factor.”
Focusing on another gray area that facilitated Sunday’s escape, transport experts blamed lax regulations governing rented helicopters. Firms that rent out helicopters are obliged to submit a flight plan to the Civil Aviation Authority before every trip but the authority has no way of tracking the course of rented helicopters and can only learn of any problems if the helicopter fails to reach the planned destination. Also, helicopter pilots are not obliged to check passengers picked up after leaving the airport. This allowed the woman believed to have organized Sunday’s escape to board the Interjet helicopter in Itea, central Greece, bearing weapons.
Police have asked citizens with any information about the fugitives to telephone 210.641.1111.
Somber mood in government, as opposition parties slam failings
Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis called an emergency meeting of the Inner Cabinet yesterday to discuss the fallout from Sunday’s escape at Korydallos Prison.
Ministers agreed with the view that Vassilis Palaiocostas and Alket Rizai were aided by guards. Justice Minister Nikos Dendias confirmed this suspicion when he left the meeting. “It is the government’s view that this could not have succeeded without involvement of those inside,” he said.
Dendias did not come under any pressure to resign, having taken up the post less than two months ago. However, this did not ease any of the pressure on the government.
PASOK leader George Papandreou argued that Greece had become a laughing stock and said of the government, “The longer they stay, the more damage they will do.” He also questioned how there can be consensus between the parties, which the government has demanded, when ND is in such a state. Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) chief Alekos Alavanos said the situation was “farcical” and repeated calls for a cross-party committee to examine public order issues. Popular Orthodox Rally (LAOS) spokesman Kyriakos Velopoulos said that the country’s security was being “stripped naked.”