Wife, mistress conspire to kill Greek envoy

Wife, mistress conspire to kill Greek envoy
December 31 09:29 2016

Brazilian police officials said late Friday that a military police officer in Rio de Janeiro has confessed to murdering Greece’s ambassador to Brazil on the day after Christmas at the behest of the diplomat’s wife.

The police said the envoy been having an affair with the officer for the past six months.

Investigators said Sérgio Moreira, a 29-year-old police officer stationed in one of Rio’s slums, killed Kyriakos Amiridis at the ambassador’s Rio home on Monday night in what they described as a “crime of passion.”

Moreira then rolled the ambassador’s body up in a rug, put it in a car and set fire to the vehicle with the help of the officer’s cousin, police said.

In a televised news conference, officials with Rio’s civil police department said they have arrested Moreira and his cousin, Eduardo Moreira de Melo, as well as the ambassador’s 40-year-old Brazilian wife, Françoise Amiridis, who police said they suspect masterminded the crime.

According to police, Mr. Moreira de Melo said  Amiridis and her alleged lover planned the ambassador’s murder together and offered the officer’s cousin $80,000 Brazilian reais (about $25,000) to help them keep watch and dispose of the 59-year-old’s body.

Police said that Moreira told them that he strangled  Amiridis to death during a fight but police said they suspect he was stabbed given the amount of blood on the ambassador’s sofa, adding that the officer may have lied about the fight to paint the crime as an act of self-defence.

According to the police, Amiridis denied planning her husband’s murder but the police said they have evidence to the contrary.

Mrs. Amiridis started contradicting herself and then broke down in tears and blamed the military police officer…she said there was no way the [murder] could have been avoided,” said Evaristo Pontes Magalhães, the police chief investigating the case.

Mrs. Amiridis, Mr. Moreira, and Mr. Moreira de Melo couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.

Mrs. Amiridis has a 10-year-old daughter with the ambassador, who joined the Greek embassy in Brasília this year after an earlier stint as Consul General in Rio from 2001 to 2004 when he first met his wife.

Police said family members told the daughter that her father died in a car accident.

The ambassador was normally based in Brazil’s capital Brasília but he had come to Rio to spend the holidays with his wife and wasn’t expected to return to work until Jan. 9.

Mrs Amiridis reported her husband missing on Wednesday, but police grew suspicious after finding a charred vehicle in a ditch near the family’s home in northern Rio with license plates matching those of the ambassador’s rental vehicle.

Brazil’s president, Michel Temer, offered his condolences to the Greek people in letters addressed to Greece’s president and prime minister late Friday. Brazil’s foreign ministry also thanked the ambassador for his “intense efforts to deepen relations between the two countries.”

The Greek embassy in Brasília declined to comment.

The ambassador’s death has shocked even the most crime-weary residents of Rio, a tourist hot spot where murders and robberies have soared over the past year as the city’s severe fiscal crisis dries up funding for everything from hospitals to policing.

Rio’s Institute of Public Security, or ISP, reported last week that 4,572 people were murdered across Rio de Janeiro state from January to November of this year, 32% more than the same period last year.

The Wall Street Journal