Three top detectives have been demoted following the botched Caroline Crouch murder investigation

Three top Greek detectives have been demoted following the botched investigation into the murder of Caroline Crouch following the ‘torture’ of an innocent man

  • Three top detectives demoted after Caroline Crouch murder investigation
  • Homicide chief Konstantinos Hasiotis and his deputy were moved from their posts
  • Department head Nikos Davarinos was also demoted following the investigation

Three veteran Greek detectives have been demoted following the botched investigation into the murder of Caroline Crouch amid allegations that an innocent man was tortured for a confession.

Giorgi Khardzeishvili, 36, from Georgia, says he was tied to a chair for four days and beaten as officers questioned him about the murder he knew nothing about.

Homicide chief Konstantinos Hasiotis, his deputy Theodoros Theodorou and head of the extortion department Nikos Davarinos were all removed from their posts as a result of the investigation.

It took Greek police 37 days to arrest Babis Anagnostopoulos for the murder of his wife.

He had told police she had been murdered by a gang of Georgian or Albanian robbers who had broken into their home and the Greek government had even offered a £250,000 reward to anyone who helped find the killers.

When Mr Khardzeishvili was arrested at the Greek border with Bulgaria on May 14 last year, he was presented as the prime suspect in the murder and paraded outside an Athens courthouse for press photographers.

It took Greek police 37 days to arrest Babis Anagnostopoulos (pictured on Monday) for the murder of his wife

Speaking from Korydallos prison, Greece’s biggest prison, Mr Khardzeishvili told Georgian media: ‘I was tied up for four days and beaten as they told me to confess to the murder of this girl .

“I didn’t know what was going on, I had never even heard of this girl. They took turns beating me very hard, my head was spinning and I had a concussion.

“When one was tired, the other would then start beating me. All they said was ‘Tell us how you killed her, how did you get in the house, how did you get out of there?’

George Kalliakmanis, president of the East Attica Union of Police Officers, said: “Caroline’s murder is a case that shook Greek society because of its brutality. But for quite a while Babis ridiculed us all. even the government, which has set up a reward for catching burglars.

“The investigation was not conducted properly and there were a number of crucial errors.

“The evidence was not properly assessed, which could have led the police to arrest Babis much earlier.”

It took Greek police 37 days to arrest Babis Anagnostopoulos (pictured left) for the murder of his wife

It took Greek police 37 days to arrest Babis Anagnostopoulos (pictured left) for the murder of his wife

Among the mistakes he pointed to was officers failing to realize that memory cards had been removed from CCTV cameras and windows had been tampered with from the inside.

They also didn’t take Anagnostopoulos’ cell phone from him until a week after the murder.

Mr Kalliakmanis added that no third-party fingerprints were found at the family home and that Anagnostopoulos was not injured.

Athens police said Mr Khardzeishvili was later charged with robbery. A spokesperson added: ‘The foreigner was found attempting to leave the country.

“Evidence was found to have emerged against him for his involvement in a robbery case against an elderly couple, at their home in Pikermi.

“For this reason, he was transferred to the Property Crimes Department of the Attica Security Directorate, where he was arrested on the basis of an arrest warrant.

“The arrested person was also questioned by officers from the Crimes Against Life Department for the Glyka Nera case.

“During his time in detention, he requested and was examined by a doctor, who found him to be in good health, while he did not request that he be transferred to a hospital.”

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