Brazil policeman 'killed Greek envoy' at wife's request

Brazil policeman 'killed Greek envoy' at wife's request
Mr Amiridis's body was found in a burnt-out car on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro

Police in Brazil say the Greek ambassador to the country was killed by a local police officer who was having an affair with the envoy's wife.

Kyriakos Amiridis had been missing since Monday. His body was found in a burnt-out car on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro on Thursday.

Police say the ambassador's Brazilian wife, Francoise Amiridis, plotted the murder with her lover.

Sergio Gomes Moreira Filho confessed to strangling him to death, police said.

Ms Amiridis, 40, has been detained along with Mr Moreira, 29, and his cousin, Eduardo Melo.

Mr Melo is said to have been paid about 80,000 reais ($25,000; £20,000) to act as a lookout.

'Crime of passion'

The three suspects have been questioned and will be held in police custody for another 30 days.

Investigator Evaristo Pontes Magalhaes described the murder as "a tragic, cowardly act," which police are treating as "a crime of passion".

"Francoise initially denied the facts. She said she had nothing to do with that. We managed to make her see that she had no alternative and that there was no point in continuing to deny it," said Mr Magalhaes at a press conference.

"She fell into contradictions, burst into tears and began to say that the police officer [Sergio Moreira] had carried out her husband's murder," he added.

Mr Magalhaes said Mr Moreira had a fight with the ambassador and ended up killing him when he went to confront the diplomat about claims of violence against his wife.

He said he acted in self defence. But Brazilian police have dismissed his statement.

They say the policeman's cousin confessed to moving the ambassador's body and gave full details of the plot to murder Mr Amiridis, implicating both Mr Moreira and Mrs Amiridis.

Burnt-out body

The 59-year-old ambassador had travelled from Brasilia to the city of Nova Iguacu, north of Rio, to spend the Christmas and New Year holidays there with his wife and her parents.

The couple had been living together for 15 years and their daughter is 10 years old, local reports said.

Mrs Amiridis reported her husband missing on Wednesday.

She told police that he had left on Monday in a car he had rented. The burnt-out vehicle was found on Thursday under a flyover on one of the main access roads to Rio with a body inside.

The body was burned beyond recognition, but police said it was that of Mr Amiridis.

Investigators also said that they had found blood stains on the sofa in the house where the couple was staying and say he was probably stabbed to death there.

Mr Amiridis served as consul in Rio de Janeiro between 2001 and 2004 and returned to the country as ambassador earlier this year.