'Alket Rizai, the convicted murderer who was on the run from police for nine months after escaping from Korydallos Prison in a helicopter, told a magistrate yesterday he would rather die than help authorities find hardened criminal Vassilis Palaiocostas, who broke out of jail with him.
Rizai appeared in court after being arrested in northeastern Attica earlier this week. The convict was asked about his dramatic escape from Korydallos in February, which was the second time Rizai and Palaiocostas had escaped from the jail in a helicopter.
“I have been wronged, that is why I keep escaping,” he told the magistrate. Rizai also denied that his girlfriend Aspasia (Soula) Mitropia had organized the escape and was in the helicopter. “I met her afterward,” he said. “It is not fair that Soula has been brought to court. Is it a crime to love someone?”
When questioned about Palaiocostas, one of Greece’s most wanted men, Rizai refused to give any information. “I would prefer to die rather than tell you where he is,” he said.
The Albanian was also questioned about his links to suspected members of an allegedly widespread crime syndicate after it emerged that the mobile phone he had been using before his escape was registered to a company owned by constructor Giorgos Tromboukis, who stands accused of being a key player in the underworld gang.
“As far as Tromboukis is concerned, I do not want to have anything to do with a stoolie,” said Rizai without elaborating. “I hate stool pigeons and that is why I will not tell you how I escaped from Korydallos.”
Rizai, Mitropia and an Albanian couple found with them were remanded in custody with Chrysanthos Anagnostopoulos, who allegedly gave the convict a bulletproof car.'