Three top detectives were DEMOTED following the botched investigation into Caroline Crouch’s murder over the ‘torture’ of an innocent man
Three senior Greek detectives were demoted following the botched investigation into Caroline Crouch’s murder amid claims that an innocent man was tortured for a confession.
Giorgi Khardzeishvili, 36, from Georgia, says he was tied to a chair for four days and beaten as officers interrogated him about the killing which he knew nothing about.
Homicide chief Konstantinos Hasiotis, his deputy Theodoros Theodorou and extortion department chief Nikos Davarinos were all moved from their posts following the investigation.
It took Greek police 37 days to arrest Babis Anagnostopoulos over his wife’s murder.
He had told police she was murdered by a gang of Georgian or Albanian robbers who had broken into their home and the Greek government even offered a £250,000 reward for anyone who helped track the killers.
When Mr Khardzeishvili was arrested on the Greek border with Bulgaria on May 14 last year, he was presented as the prime suspect in the murder and paraded outside an Athens courthouse for press photographers.
It took Greek police 37 days to arrest Babis Anagnostopoulos (pictured on Monday) over his wife’s murder
Speaking from Korydallos Prison, Greece’s largest jail, Mr Khardzeishvili told Georgian media: ‘I was tied up for four days and beaten while they told me to confess to this girl’s murder.
‘I did not know what was happening, I had never even heard of this girl. They would take turns beating me very hard, my head was spinning and I had a concussion.
‘When one got tired, the other would then start to beat me. All they would say was ‘Tell us how did you kill her, how did you get in the house, how did you get out of there?’
George Kalliakmanis, president of the Union of Police Officers of East Attica, said: ‘Caroline’s murder was a case that shook Greek society because of its brutality. But for quite a while, Babis made a fool of us all; even the government, which put up a reward to catch the burglars.
‘The investigation was not handled properly and there were a number of crucial mistakes.
‘Evidence was not evaluated properly which could have led police to arrest Babis far sooner.’
It took Greek police 37 days to arrest Babis Anagnostopoulos (pictured left) over his wife’s murder
Among the mistakes he highlighted were the fact that officers did not realise memory cards had been removed from CCTV cameras and windows had been tampered with from the inside.
They also failed to take the Anagnostopoulos’s mobile phone from him until a week after the murder.
Mr Kalliakmanis added that no fingerprints from third parties were found in the family’s home and Anagnostopoulos was completely uninjured.
Athens police said Mr Khardzeishvili was later charged with robbery. A spokesman added: ‘The foreigner was found attempting to leave the country.
‘It was found that evidence had emerged against him for his involvement in a robbery case against an elderly couple, at their home in Pikermi.
‘For this reason he was transferred to the property crimes department of the Attica security directorate, where he was arrested under an arrest warrant.
‘The arrested person was also examined by police officers of the life crimes department for the Glyka Nera case.
‘During his stay in detention, he asked for and was examined by a doctor, who found that he was in good health, while he did not ask for his transfer to a hospital.’