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Apr 3, 2015 12:00 PM

Jailed Greek ex-minister's wife found after asylum escape

The Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) The wife of an imprisoned former Greek defense minister was found Friday near the psychiatric hospital from which she escaped and in which she was serving a sentence on the same corruption charges as her husband.

Police said Vicky Stamati, 40, wife of former minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, was found sitting on a church bench behind the Dromokaitio state psychiatric institution she went missing from early Thursday. She was being questioned in police headquarters in central Athens.

Stamati, has been in custody since April 2012. She was convicted a year later along with her husband, step-daughter and more than a dozen others in a military procurement scandal in which Tsochatzopoulos, 75, was found guilty of receiving kickbacks in return for military hardware contracts.

Stamati was sentenced to 12 years for money laundering and accepting illegal funds after she was deemed to have known about her husband's actions.

In poor health, she underwent a double mastectomy shortly after the trial while imprisoned in 2013, and was transferred to the psychiatric hospital in December that year after suffering a breakdown, attempting suicide and being diagnosed with severe depression.

Stamati has made several requests to be released for custody on health grounds and on the grounds that her young child was being brought up by her elderly mother. All have been rejected.


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