Source AP ©

Police officers are accused of Albanian immigrants' beating

Seven police officers were charged with torture and other offenses for beating of two Albanian immigrants recorded on a cell phone and posted on the Internet.

Public prosecutor Panayiotis Meidanis charged two officers with criminal counts of torture, two others with complicity, and another three officers with misdemeanors including harboring a criminal and dereliction of duty, court officials said.

All seven officers serve at the Omonia police precinct in central Athens. The suspects include the precinct chief who received a misdemeanor charge.

Five of the officers had already been suspended.

A lawyer representing the main suspect said his client maintained the video had been manipulated.

The five-minute video, portions of which have been replayed repeatedly on Greek television, shows the two Albanian men being punched and kicked by one officer -while other policemen stood by -and being ordered to slap each other.

The video was posted on the popular video-sharing site YouTube.

Albania made a formal protest over the incident which allegedly took place in June 2006 but emerged last weekend.

Greece's prime minister also condemned the alleged beating. Police on Wednesday said an urgent investigation into the incident would be concluded within 10 days.

Also Wednesday, about 500 people staged a demonstration outside the headquarters of the Greek Police to protest against police brutality.