A 34-year-old Greek mother accused of killing 3 daughters faces trial
Rola Besperigo, a 34-year-old Greek woman accused of killing her three daughters over a three-year period, appeared in court on Monday in Athens.
She is being held in a maximum security prison after the case sparked widespread outrage in Greece.
Pesperego is being tried for “attempted premeditated murder” and “premeditated murder” of her eldest daughter, but she has denied all charges.
She is accused of poisoning nine-year-old Georgina in January 2022 by taking ketamine, an anesthetic.
At the time of her death, Georgina was in the hospital where she had stayed several times since she first suffered convulsions in April 2021 which left her quadriplegic.
Pesperigo 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 revealed that the two girls died of suffocation, and although the investigation continues, in August Bisperigo was charged with this death as well.
Pesperigo arrived in court on Monday handcuffed and surrounded by masked police, dressed in black and haggard-looking.
The judge rejected her lawyer’s request to merge all three cases but agreed to adjourn the trial until Wednesday after Pesperigo appeared before a judge investigating the case of the two young girls.
Pispirigou, a nurse by training, has been dubbed “modern-day Medea” by the Greek media, a figure in Greek mythology who murders her sons after their father leaves her for another woman.
The alleged triple infanticide has received wide media attention in Greece, where such crimes are relatively rare.
In April 2022, the government urged calm in the face of calls to kill Pesperigo.
When she appeared in court shortly after her arrest, she was wearing a bulletproof vest and riot police were deployed to control a crowd chanting: “Kill, confess your crime.”
A woman told Greek television that she believed Pesperigo should be hanged, and the words “Death to infanticide” were written on the front of her house in Patras.
“People cannot forgive the fact that she killed not one but three children and at different times,” said Efi Lampropoulou, a lecturer in criminology at Athens Pantheon University.
Lampropolo said that the media “focus above all on the feelings of the viewers”.
This information is then exaggerated on social networks, where there is no control whatsoever.