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. Local police have said that the officer, who was romantically involved with the diplomat’s wife, has confessed to the killing at her direction.
The third man, believed to be the officer’s cousin, is believed to have acted as lookout and helped move the ambassador’s body. All three are being held in jail as the investigation continues, the investigators told a news conference in Rio.
Police have recommended charges against all three for homicide, said Adilson Palacio, a spokesman for the Rio homicide division. He said that the indications were that a body found in a burnt-out car was 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 bloodstains 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,” Palacio said. The investigation of a foreign diplomat was made a priority, he said, and investigators “haven’t slept for two days”. Officers revealed at a press conference that the detained officer worked at a station in the central Rio favela of Fallet.
Amiridis began his career in 1985 at the Greek foreign ministry and was Greek consul in Rio from 2001-04. 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 that he was married after media reports of a robbery at his house in 2003 were 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.