Prisoner escapes from Greek prison by helicopter

February 22nd, 2009 - 11:22 pm ICT by IANS  

Athens, Feb 22 (DPA) One of Greece’s most infamous criminals managed to pull off a daring jail break for a second time Sunday, landing a helicopter in a prison yard and fleeing with another inmate, media reports said.
Reports said a helicopter had taken off from Athens’ International Airport and flew to Athens’ maximum security Korydallos prison, where it picked up prisoner Vassilis Palaiokostas and another inmate and flew away.

The helicopter’s flight plan was to land in the central town of Itea but the pilot changed course and flew to the prison instead. He was reported to have landed just north of Athens.

Palaiokostas, 43, was serving a 25-year sentence for the kidnapping of a Greek businessman. The other escaped prisoner, Albanian Alket Rizai, 35, was serving a life sentence for manslaughter.

The two men had escaped in a similar fashion in 2006 with the help of Vassilis’ brother Nikos and were later caught by the police in the summer of 2008.

Nikos Palaiokostas escaped from prison himself in 1990. He had been imprisoned for his role in a series of bank robberies and was charged in absentia for the same kidnapping as his brother.

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