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Senior police officer suspended till July 20 in connection with prisons director scandal

A senior police officer who allegedly colluded with a life-sentenced inmate to damage the reputation of the island’s highly esteemed central prisons director Anna Aristotelous has been suspended until July 20.

But the decision, announced in writing by the Justice Ministry late on Wednesday, appears not to satisfy public opinion which is highly concerned over the new corruption case involving the police force.

Justice Minister Stefi Drakou had expected to meet the high-profile senior ranking officer of the drug squad in person on Wednesday to discuss his position about his pending suspension. But he chose to send an email, and shortly afterwards, Drakou issued the suspension announcement.

At the same time, lawyer Achilleas Emilianides – the independent criminal investigator appointed by the Attorney General to look into the complaint officially filed on Monday by Aristotelous – has begun work. The investigation must be completed within a month.

Meanwhile, two top-ranking government officials are expected to also be questioned by Emilianides, according to daily Phileleftheros.

The allegations hit the news last Friday, after Aristotelous leaked to the press that she had evidence a senior drug squad officer tried to obtain private video footage of her with the help of a convict serving a long sentence.

The story dominated the news since, especially after the claims that President Nicos Anastasiades and Attorney-General Giorgos Savvides were aware of the allegations at least a month before they were made public.

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