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Explanations for the case of the ‘pink’ DVD and the black 5.5 million euros required Dora Bakoyannis in Parliament

23 December 2010 / 15:12:56  GRReporter
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Four days ago have started Dora Bakoyannis’ attacks from the Parliament rostrum against the journalist Themos Anastasiadis. She even doesn’t call him by his name but ‘the carrier’ as the media had called him during the scandal that broke about the journalist and publisher of the Proto Theme newspaper three years ago.

Dora Bakoyannis chose the next year's budget debate to ask the Minister of Finance George Papaconstantinou on the case with the amount of 5.5 million euros that ‘the carrier’ has carried to a subsidiary of the French bank BNP Paribas in downtown Athens. She has required formal and competent information about the course of the investigation of the checks that have been found with ‘the carrier’ when the French authorities captured him at the border with Switzerland.

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs’ attacks against Themos Anastasiadis caused confusion among the targeted lawmakers and in some media too. Bakoyannis even addressed the Parliament and asked how a citizen who was carrying black plastic bags with tax undeclared amounts of 5.5 million euros could be at liberty. She asked how the whole political and administrative system could pay no heed to this and recalled how the name of the journalist was involved in Zahopoulos scandal and the well-known ‘pink’ DVD.

What's the story? Greece was shaken in November 2007 by the news that the then Secretary of the Ministry of Culture Christos Zahopoulos tried to commit suicide by jumping from the balcony of his apartment on the 5th floor. It became clear days later that he did it because his secretary Evi Tsekou threatened him that she would give the media secretly filmed footage of intimate scenes between them, because despite his promises he didn’t appoint her to the position she wanted. While Zahopoulos was treated for his multiple fractures Evi Tsekou was caught for extortion and detained in custody and this was the beginning of the end.

The Greek public was shocked to learn in the course of the investigation that shortly before the attempted suicide of Zahopoulos his secretary brought and showed the video to several media, including the editorial office of Themos Anastasiadis’ newspaper Proto Theme. At the same time, Janis Adrianos - head of the then Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis press office - met in the lobby of the Hilton hotel with someone the media called ‘the carrier’ of the video. The meeting was held in order to hand the ‘pink’ DVD to Janis Adrianos, who is now MP from New Democracy. The Paron newspaper announced about a week later that ‘the carrier’ was Themos Anastasiadis. This made one of the co-owners of the Proto Theme newspaper Makis Triantafilopoulos to withdraw from the group of publishers, while the journalists who worked in the weekly edition stood on the side of Themos Anastasiadis. He denied being ‘the carrier’ in a series of articles and, of course, published photos with fragments of the infamous video. The Mega TV chief editor and news presenter Christos Panaiotopoulos and Olga Tremie were questioned in the course of the investigation and the major issue was whether they watched the video.

Earlier this month the case was postponed again and it is expected to be held on October 17, 2011. Defendants in this case are Evi Tsekou, her lawyer Christos Nikoloutsopoulos, who has accompanied her on her visits to the media where she wanted to broadcast the video, the publisher Themos Anastasiadis and the journalist from Proto Theme Yannis Makriyanis. The indictment says that the publisher "recorded a copy of the video without the knowledge of Evi Tsekou" when she went to the editorial office to show it. According to the indictment, he is the person that handed the former Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis’ associate the DVD "on which he recorded some of the stolen video after processing it."
 
Dora Bakoyannis recalled in her statements to Parliament the meeting between Themos Anastasiadis and Yannis Adrianos and asked rhetorically whether ‘the carrier’ has successfully negotiated the return of the video against his immunity and the ‘nobody’s’ and ‘black’ 5.5 million euros.

According to some sources, the attacks of Dora Bakoyannis are part of her defensive strategy against articles offensive to her which are expected to be published in the weekly Proto Theme. Others say, however, that her position is the result of the intention of a businessman close to her to buy Themos Anastasiadis’ newspaper. And this is because of the information circulating in journalistic circles for some time that the businessman Vangelis Marinakis is seriously interested in buying the newspaper but he has made no official offer.
 
According to some commentators, whatever the reasons for the attacks of Dora Bakoyannis, she is the first politician who puts even belatedly – but urgently – the state and its institutions to their duty to explain what exactly happened three years ago. Here is what zougla.gr – the web portal of the former cofounder of Proto Theme Makis Triantafilopulos – wrote:

“Dora Bakoyannis put to Parliament the issue of transparency. She questioned the lack of equality between people, telling how the authorities treat a publisher quite differently from an ordinary citizen. She placed the important issue on how the authorities refer to a scandalous case of ‘black money’ trafficking and mentioned publicly and officially the conclusion of a political deal between one publisher and one government – that of Costas Karamanlis.”

They believe from zougla.gr that the aggressiveness with which Dora Bakoyannis puts the topic again at the centre is indicative of its continuation. "Unless the case is once again attempted to be resolved with a new political ‘swap’," comments the online edition.  

Tags: PoliticsScandalVideo
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