In the Greek capital, Athens, the trial of a 34-year-old woman began, on charges of killing her three daughters over a period of three years, in a case that sparked widespread outrage in Greece.
Rola Bispirego, who is being held in a maximum security prison, will appear before the courts on Monday accused of “attempted premeditated murder” and “premeditated murder” of her eldest daughter.
Pesperigo denies all charges.
Pesperigo is accused of poisoning her nine-year-old daughter, Georgina, in January 2022 by giving her ketamine, an anesthetic.
At the time of her death on 29 January 2022, Georgina had been in hospital, where she had stayed several times since she first suffered convulsions in April 2021 which left her quadriplegic.
Pespirego was arrested in March 2022 and has maintained her innocence ever since.
After her arrest, authorities began investigating the deaths of her two other daughters, Malina, who was three years old when she died in 2019, and Iris, who was six months old when she died in 2021.
Forensic examinations conducted on her other two daughters after Georgina’s death revealed that the girls died of suffocation.
Although an investigation into the deaths of the two girls is still ongoing, Pesperigo was also charged in August in their deaths.
A court source said that Pespirego’s lawyer, Alexis Kogias, is expected to call for all cases to be consolidated, and thus adjourned, on Monday.
Modern day media
The Greek media called Pesperigo, a nurse, “modern-day Medea, a character in Greek mythology who kills her children after their father left her for another woman.”
The alleged triple infanticide received a lot of attention in the media in Greece.
And last April, the Greek government was forced to call for calm after calls for the killing of Pesperigo, calling on the public to allow the investigators to continue their work.
Flanked by heavily armed police officers, Pesperigo was wearing a bulletproof vest when she first arrived at the Athens court shortly after her arrest.
Riot police were deployed as demonstrators chanted, “You murderer, confess your crimes,” and some called for her to be hanged.
TV stations “focus primarily on the feelings of viewers,” explained Evi Lambropoulou, a lecturer in criminology at Athens Pantheon University.
“This information is then amplified on social networks where there is no control whatsoever,” she added.
“We are particularly harsh on mothers who commit infanticide because we have notions of motherhood,” psychologist and psychoanalyst Sophie Marinopoulos told AFP.