A former suspect in the murder of Caroline Crouch has accused the Greek police of torturing him to confess to a crime that he did not commit.
The 36-year-old Georgian national was arrested at the Evros border a few days after Crouch’s murder, when he attempted to leave the country using a fake passport.
According to Greek police, he was found to be a match for biological forensic evidence collected at the scene of a previous violent home invasion on March 7 in Athens, which apparently had many similarities with the murder investigated at the time in Crouch’s home.
Since then, Crouch’s husband Babis Anagnostopoulos has confessed to killing his young wife in the Athens suburb of Glyka Nera on May 11.
Speaking on Georgian television, the man said that he had been tortured for four days by the Greek police to confess that he was the murderer of Crouch.
Former suspect in Crouch’s murder: “I was tortured”
He revealed terrifying details of his alleged ordeal at the hands of Greek police. He said that officers tied him up to a chair for four days. He said he received regular beatings from two officers who were trying to force him to confess that he had killed Crouch.
“I did not know what girl they were talking about. They told me “You killed her.” I later learned that her husband had killed her and that I was being accused of theft. I have nothing to do with any theft. I only had fake papers,” he told Georgian TV.
The issue was brought up by opposition MP’s in the Greek Parliament. SYRIZA MP and former minister Christos Spirtzis said that police were quick to blame a foreigner for the heinous crime. It used a “far-right tactic that poisons society with xenophobia and racism,” the MP charged.
“Very important questions arise both about the methods used by the Greek Police, and about the expediency of trying to extract the confession of an innocent man,” he added.
Late on Tuesday, Greek police responded to the accusations by denying that the Georgian former suspect had been tortured.
According to a Hellenic Police press statement the suspect “asked for and was provided by a doctor who examined him and confirmed that he was in good health… At no point did he ask to be transferred to a hospital for further tests.”
In March 2021, Greek police were accused of brutality when officers in Athens were caught on video throwing to the ground an apparently peaceful resident and beating him with their batons.
In an incident that shocked public opinion, videos uploaded on several websites showed a peaceful citizen arguing with police and suddenly being thrown to the ground and attacked with batons.