This content is not available in your region

Mother charged with killing daughter, 9, as other child deaths probed

Access to the comments Comments
By Euronews  with AP
The woman wore a hood and a protective vest as she was escorted out of court.
The woman wore a hood and a protective vest as she was escorted out of court.   -   Copyright  John Liakos/InTime News via AP

A woman from southern Greece has been charged with killing her nine-year-old daughter in a case that has drawn national attention.

The deaths of the woman's two other daughters in the past three years are also being reviewed.

The 33-year-old suspect appeared in court in Athens on Thursday, flanked by riot police as authorities held back a crowd of onlookers and journalists.

Protesters also gathered outside the woman's home in the port city of Patras, 200 kilometres west of the Greek capital. The Greek government has called for "calm" amid the angry demonstrations.

“The emotional and moral burden of this event surpasses most if not all of us,” government spokesman Giannis Oikonomou said, congratulating the police on their work in the months-long investigation.

“There are no words to express the pain this has caused. This requires considerable thought and reflection.”

The woman, who was not formally identified in accordance with Greek law, was arrested one day after being detained for questioning Wednesday.

Her nine-year-old child died in January following an eight-month hospitalisation.

Tissue tests later revealed the presence of an anaesthetic drug that had not been administered by doctors and led to suspicions that the girl had been poisoned by her mother.

A panel of senior coroners is leading a review into the death 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.

Tissue samples retained from the two girls are now being re-examined, authorities said.

The suspect has denied any wrongdoing and is expected to formally respond to the charges on Monday.

In a private television interview last month, the suspect said that she had lived in a house that was "filled with joy".

“How could I hurt my own children? I gave birth to them, raised them, and was always with them. It doesn’t make sense,” she told Star television.

In the same interview, the suspect’s husband described her as “a rock” for her children.