The case sparked an outburst of anger in Greece.

A 34-year-old woman, prosecuted for having killed her three daughters in three years, has been on trial since Monday in Athens.

In pre-trial detention in a high security prison near Athens, Roula Pispirigou responds to "attempted intentional homicide with premeditation" and "intentional homicide with premeditation" on his eldest daughter before the Assize Court of the Greek capital .

9-year-old, 3-year-old and 6-month-old children

She is accused of having, on January 29, 2022, poisoned Georgina, 9 years old, by administering her ketamine, a substance used mainly in veterinary surgery as an anesthetic and analgesic.

Since last August, she has also been prosecuted for the murders of her two other daughters, Malena, 3 and a half, in 2019, and Iris, 6 months, in 2021, but this separate procedure, launched after the death of Georgina, is still under investigation.

Dressed all in black, emaciated and with drawn features, the young woman arrived handcuffed and accompanied by hooded police at the courthouse.

Manos Daskalakis, the father of the children, from whom she was separated, is a civil party.

At the opening of the proceedings, the court rejected the request for postponement of the trial made by the defendant's lawyer, Alexis Kougias, who notably wanted the two files to be merged.

"The first concern of the court is the administration of justice," argued its president, according to the Greek news agency, ANA.

However, it adjourned the hearing to Wednesday, after the hearing of the accused before the investigating judge in the second file.

“Modern Day Medea”

At the time of her death, Georgina was in the hospital where she had made several stays since in April 2021 convulsions had left her quadriplegic.

The prosecution accuses the mother of having already tried to kill her child.

The second child, Malena, was initially declared dead of liver failure and Iris of cardiac arrest, but new expert reports carried out after Georgina's suspicious death revealed that they died of asphyxiation.

Roula Pispirigou, a nurse by training, nicknamed by the Greek media "the Medea of ​​modern times" or "the Medea of ​​Patras", the city from which she comes from in western Greece, has maintained her innocence since her arrest in March 2022 .

This alleged triple infanticide, in a country where this crime is rather rare, aroused fury and great media unpacking.

Last April, the Greek government had to call for "calm" in the face of calls for murder made against Roula Pispirigou.

Shortly after her arrest, the defendant was protected by a bulletproof vest during her chaotic arrival at the Athens courthouse.

Riot police had also been deployed as the roaring crowd shouted "Slayer, confess your crime!"


Among the demonstrators, a woman had assured on television: “If she did indeed do that, she must be hanged.

That's all !

On the facade of his home in Patras, unknown persons had written: “Death to the killers of children.


Move viewers

These popular outbursts are partly explained by the status of the mother in a country where patriarchy remains a cultural marker.

“We have a (particular) harshness towards infanticidal mothers because we remain with ideals around motherhood”, assures AFP the psychologist and psychoanalyst Sophie Marinopoulos, specialist in infanticidal mothers.

“The mother must sacrifice herself for her children and not sacrifice her children.

In the Mediterranean countries, it is very strong,” she adds.

“People cannot excuse the fact that she killed, according to the prosecution, not one but three children and this at different times”, adds Effi Lambropoulou, professor of criminology at the Panteion University of Athens.

The private television channels are also pointed out, they who did not hesitate to question the accused by telephone from her prison.

Televisions “focus above all on the emotions of the viewers”, explains Effi Lambropoulou.

“This information is then found, exaggerated, on social networks where there is not the slightest control”, deplores the specialist.


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  • Infanticide

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