Inmates escape Greek prison by helicopter

Feb. 22, 2009 at 12:52 PM

ATHENS, Greece, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Two inmates at a high-security prison in Greece were spirited to freedom by helicopter Sunday, their second aerial breakout, a source says.

Convicted kidnapper Vassilis Paleokostas and his accomplice, Alket Rizai, escaped Greece's notorious Korydallos prison when a helicopter landed on a prison roof and the men were thrown a rope ladder, the BBC reported. The chopper was later found by a highway near Greece's central mountain range, the British network said.

Paleokostas is one of Greece's most infamous criminals, having been convicted of kidnapping and multiple armed robberies. He previously lived in the region with impunity for years.

Sunday's brazen prison break marked the second time Paleokostas and Rizai escaped the prison by helicopter. The pair previously busted out when a helicopter landed in the prison yard while inmates were exercising. The BBC said both men were to stand trial within days for that 2006 escape.

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