British woman charged with murder after death of newborn on Crete

Athens - A 20-year-old British woman has been charged with causing the death of her newborn baby soon after she gave birth alone in a hotel room on the holiday island of Crete, reports said Wednesday.

A Greek prosecutor charged the woman with strangling her newborn son late Tuesday night. A coroner said the baby appeared to have been suffocated.

Under Greek law the woman could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

The suspect remains hospitalised under police guard in the capital city of Iraklion where she is being treated for severe blood loss after giving birth early on Monday.

Reports said the incident occurred in the woman's hotel room at the northern coastal resort town of Malia. Hotel staff had reportedly rushed the woman to a hospital to receive treatment for heavy bleeding after giving birth to the baby in her room.

Television reports said police discovered the child in the hotel room with sheets covering it.

The woman was on vacation in Crete with her sister and a female friend from Britain, who reported the incident. (dpa)