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Scuffles break out as mother appears in court accused of killing daughter

A 33-year-old woman, centre, with the hood of her coat up and wearing a protective vest, escorted by police, arrives to appear at the court in Athens, Greece, on Monday April 4 2022 (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)
A 33-year-old woman, centre, with the hood of her coat up and wearing a protective vest, escorted by police, arrives to appear at the court in Athens, Greece, on Monday April 4 2022 (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

A 33-year-old woman accused of killing her hospitalised daughter was led under heavy police guard to an Athens court on Monday as authorities investigate the deaths of her two other daughters.

In a case that has gripped public attention in Greece, the suspect was arrested last week after an anaesthetic drug was found in tissue samples of her nine-year-old who died in January following a lengthy stay in hospital.

A panel of senior coroners is also leading a review into the deaths of the suspect’s two other children: a three-year-old girl from liver failure in 2019 and a six-month-old girl in 2021 from a suspected heart defect.

Under heavy police guard, the suspect was led to court in Athens
Under heavy police guard, the suspect was led to court in Athens (Thanassis Stavrakis/AP)

Riot police scuffled with onlookers and journalists at a court complex in the Greek capital as they cleared the way to lead the suspect into the office of a public prosecutor to present her defence.

Some of the protesters ‒ some also awaiting trial for separate offences ‒ chanted “death, death″ as they tried to break through the police cordon.

Authorities have not identified the woman, but her lawyers named her as Roula Pispirigou from the southern port city of Patras after she gave interviews to the local news media.

She has denied any wrongdoing, and her lawyers have pointed to the possibility of medical error.

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