Prosecutors on the Greek island of Crete have launched an investigation into the deaths of 68 elderly residents at a nursing home after relatives expressed concerns over the official causes of death and potential abuse.
Some 62 residents of the home in the city of Chania died in 2020, with a further six deaths in 2021. The cause of all fatalities was reportedly registered as “cardiac arrest.”
On Thursday, the body of one elderly woman was exhumed and removed at the order of prosecutors so that the cause of her death could be determined by medical experts.
The investigation comes after a woman took legal action against the home following the death of her father.
The preliminary inquiry will look at potential crimes, including forming and joining a criminal organization, causing bodily harm and manslaughter by deceit.
Some of the allegations made against the home include the claims that residents were subjected to violence, suffered malnutrition and that bed restraints were used on them, according to local news site Cretalive.
A lawyer for the nursing home, Ioannis Sfakiotakis, said in a Facebook post on Friday that the facility has not broken the law and the investigation was apparently moving forward “without” evidence being invoked.
He also said that a surprise dawn raid on the home last month involving prosecutors, police and scientific experts had not resulted in any criminal charges or arrests.
“No criminal charges have been filed, no police report has been issued, no findings of abuse were found in the exhumation of a former inmate of the nursing home yesterday,” Sfakiotakis wrote.
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