Convicts Escape Greek Prison by Helicopter for Second Time!

February 23, 2009

Athens (ChattahBox) — Like a Hollywood movie, two robbers escaped from a high-security Greek prison Sunday by scaling a rope ladder to a hovering helicopter amid a gun battle with guards. The irony is that this is not the first time they have made such an escape.  Their first escape by helicopter was on June 4, 2006.  They had been scheduled to appear before a magistrate Monday about their first escape, which happened at the same prison. The men remain at large as of this report Monday.

Despite their previous escape, Vassilis Paleokostas, 42, and Alket Rizaj, 34, had been allowed to take their daily walk on the prison grounds together on breaks from solitary confinement. The two inmates were picked up by a helicopter that flew over the courtyard of Athens’ Korydallos prison Sunday afternoon. They climbed a rope ladder thrown to them by a woman passenger, the Justice Ministry said. Guards on the ground opened fire and the woman fired back with an automatic rifle, authorities said. No injuries were reported. A skill for daring prison breaks, but perhaps not for staying free — appears to run in Paleocostas’ family. It was Vassilis’ brother Nicos who helped the two break free the first time round after escaping from the facility himself, only to be recaptured in September 2006.

Police said an elderly couple found the helicopter abandoned near a highway north of Athens, with its fuel tank leaking from a bullet hole. The pilot was bound and gagged, with a hood over his head. He told police the helicopter was chartered by a couple who said they wanted to go from the town of Itea in central Greece to Athens. The couple had chartered the helicopter a number of times in the previous weeks. This time, the pilot said, the couple threatened him with an AK-47 rifle and a grenade and forced him to fly to the prison.

The shaken government quickly dismissed three Justice Ministry officials, and the prime minister scheduled an emergency meeting of part of his cabinet Monday to discuss the country’s prisons. Dendias, the justice minister, announced that he had asked for and obtained the resignations of the general secretary of the ministry, the inspector-general of prisons and the head of the Korydallos prison.


3 Responses to “Convicts Escape Greek Prison by Helicopter for Second Time!”

  1. Ken on February 23rd, 2009 1:12 pm

    And where was Bruce Willis during all of this?

  2. olivia on February 23rd, 2009 2:13 pm

    Wow. With how much effort they put in, and their success rate, maybe they deserve to be let go. I give them an ‘A’, just for the work it took to do this without a stunt double.

  3. Thomas on February 23rd, 2009 4:18 pm

    Actually Paleokostas and his brother share the same ‘career’. Those brothers have caused mixed feelings to the public opinion over the years since they always managed to escape the police in many different circumstances. This is the second time they have used a chopper, but there where no few times that they managed to evade the police while so close being captured. Many people keep sympathy for them as they feel them like modern age robin hoods. It has been told that they used to take good economic care of mountain villages that kept them concealed during their hideout days.

    After the riots incidents, the public opinion about the police gets even worse, since it has been said that ‘they can only handle children’, reminding the murder of a 15 year old by a cops service gun, three months ago.

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