|Francoise Amiridis, the wife of Greece's Ambassador to Brazil Kyriakos Amiridis, arrives at a police station to be interrogated in connection with her husband's disappearance in Belford Roxo, Brazil, Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. Getty Images|
Authorities in Brazil believe that the Greek ambassador who went missing on 26 December has been killed and have named his Brazilian wife, a police officer and another man as suspects in the case.
Police have detained the suspects and recommended charges against all three for homicide, said Adilson Palacio, a spokesman for the Rio homicide division. He said that the indications are that a body found in a burnt-out car is that of Kyriakos Amiridis, 59, who was reported missing on 28 December by his wife, Françoise Oliveira.
She told police that Amiridis had left the condominium where the couple were staying in Nova Iguaçu, a town 25 miles inland from Rio de Janeiro, two nights earlier, without saying where he was going. The couple had been together 15 years, and have a 10-year-old daughter, according to another officer working on the case, who was not authorised to give his name publicly..
Palacio said that blood stains believed to be from the ambassador were found on a sofa inside the home of his wife.
“Her family had a residence in the city. They are from Nova Iguaçu. She was born in Nova Iguaçu,” Palacio said. The investigation of a foreign diplomat was made a priority, he said, and investigators “haven’t slept for two days”.
The authorities alleged that Oliveira was having an affair with the detained police officer, who was stationed at a police base in the central Rio favela of Fallet. “They admitted it,” Palacio said. The third suspect has not been identified. A police press conference was scheduled for later on Friday.
Amiridis began his career in 1985 at the Greek foreign ministry and was Greek consul in Rio from 2001-2004. He became Greece’s ambassador to Libya in 2012 and returned to Brazil as an ambassador earlier this year.
Hildegard Angel, 67, a Rio-based journalist, said Amiridis had been a good friend and a popular figure at dinners and parties while he lived in the city. “He was a very interesting man,” she said. “A man of the world. Agreeable, sociable, informed. You wanted to go to Greece talking to him.”
But Angel said nobody had known he was married when he lived in Rio. “In refined society in Rio de Janeiro he was invited to everything. He always circulated alone. He was a bachelor, always invited to dinners,” she said.
Angel said she first discovered he was married after media reports of a robbery at his house referred to a wife. She added that she first met Oliveira in February when the couple were invited to the Carnival Ball, an annual high society event held at the upscale Copacabana Palace, which this year had an ancient Greek theme.
Greek ambassador Kyriakos Amiridis’s wife arrested for ordering murder
Greek ambassador to Brazil Kyriakos Amiridis’ wife, Francoise Amiridis, was arrested for ordering the envoy’s death, Brazilian police has said. Francoise had the help of local policeman Sergio Gomes Moreira Filho, her lover, and his cousin Eduardo de Melo, Xinhua news agency quoted police as saying on Friday.They confessed to the murder and were arrested as well.
Investigators said Melo confessed that the ambassador’s wife had offered 80,000 reais ($24,400) for his help in the crime. However, Filho denied Francoise’s participation in the crime. Francoise also denied her participation in the murder, but police confirmed her involvement.
The ambassador was last seen alive on Monday, but his wife only reported his disappearance on Wednesday. On Thursday, Amiridis’ rented car was found burnt, with a corpse inside. Police here on Friday said the burnt body was of Amiridis.
It believed Amiridis was killed inside his house in Nova Iguacu here. Investigators reportedly found blood stains on a sofa at the house. Filho said he fought with the ambassador and killed him with Amiridis’ gun.
According to neighbours, they did not hear any shots and police are investigating whether Amiridis was shot to death or stabbed.
Filho used Amiridis’ rented car to take the body from the house and dispose off it. Security cameras confirmed that both Filho and Melo were in the ambassador’s house on Monday night and in the early hours of Tuesday.
The Brazilian government on Friday sent a message of condolences to Greece over the murder of the ambassador.
The Brazilian Foreign Ministry published a message regretting the ambassador’s death and offering condolences to his friends and family, as well as to the people and the government of Greece.
“Amiridis was serving in Brazil for the second time. At the helm of the Greek embassy to Brazil, he had been carrying out an intense work to deepen the relations between the two countries,” it said.
Brazilian President Michel Temer also sent personal letters to Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, assuring that the country’s authorities were conducting an investigation into the murder and that the government was willing to fully cooperate with Greece.