Deputy prison director Athena Demetriou took on the role of acting director of the central prison as of Tuesday, Justice Minister Stephie Dracou said.

She said that Demetriou would continue in the position until the end of prison director Anna Aristotelous’ leave.

A meeting will be held upon Aristotelous’ return to decide the next steps that will be taken, following her and Demetriou’s request to be removed from their prison posts, Dracou said. Their letter requesting their transfer was submitted on December 23, she specified.

“The prison wards are not left without someone to run the ship nor is the justice ministry apathetic towards the needs of the central prisons,” Dracou said.

In Aristotelous’ absence, the prisons are being run by Demetriou, following the regulations, she added.

The justice ministry has also sent a letter to the public service commission detailing the update.

Until their application in processed, they will continue in their posts.

The ministry is also in touch with Demetriou, who also reports to Aristotelous.

“Orders have been given to the police chief to offer any help required in terms of staff to ensure the smooth operations, safety conditions, discipline and order in the prisons, bearing in mind the overcrowding,” Dracou said.

At the same time, orders have been given to the police chief as well as the prison director to increase private security measures where needed, Dracou specified.

Aristotelous and Demetriou requested to leave their post following a fracas with drug squad chief Michalis Katsounotos.

His attempt to secure video footage of them was defended in a report by the attorney-general, who said there was no grounds for corruption and that Katsounotos was just trying to do his job.