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The man who accused three politicians of money laundering wants protection from the Prime Minister’s office

28 September 2012 / 23:09:58  GRReporter
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The publication in the Sunday edition of Real news that the parliamentary chairmen Evangelos Meimarakis and the two former ministers in the government of New Democracy George Voulgarakis and Michalis Liapis have evaded taxes and acquired wealth illegally through the purchase and sale of real estate has caused a serious political turmoil. The real estate broker Joseph Livanos, who had once worked with the owner of a real estate agency Ioannis Karouzos, filed the complaint. He, in turn, is the best man of Evangelos Meimarakis.

It has become clear today that Joseph Livanos sent to the office of Prime Minister Antonis Samaras on 11 September 2012 an urgent complaint regarding this case. The parliamentary chairman has personally submitted it for publication. The letter was sent to his office, the headquarters of the Greek police, the prosecutor of the Supreme Court and to the head of the Financial and Economic Crime Unit.

In his letter, Joseph Livanos states that in June this year, he filed to prosecutor Poppy Papandreou a claim for security guards, because the police told him that they were unable to continue to protect him, even partially, due to the lack of staff. On this occasion, he presents in great detail the case of Ioannis Karouzos and the complaints filed. He claims that as a result, his life is in danger.

Joseph Livanos defines himself as a "supporter of New Democracy" and wrote, "I did not agree to present any details concerning the scandal" "despite the pressure" to which leading media had subjected him one week before the election in May. He claims, "I was under pressure from the largest parliamentary force (SYRIZA), but I refused, not because I was always a supporter of New Democracy but for Greece’s sake, especially in that hard election period."

Livanos indicates that following the refusal of the state, especially after the elections, "the persons who are named in the complaint and who are connected through a targeted wedding sponsorship with a senior member of New Democracy, whom I personally respect and appreciate," threatened him with destruction.

"Since March 2012, I have submitted in writing all the threats I had received through messengers, whose names I mentioned, to the Financial and Economic Crime Unit." Livanos says that the threats have been directed not only at him but also at the political system and New Democracy in particular. "They pointed out that if the people named in the complaint speak, then half of the government will have to resign." He added, "Who in the end are Ioannis Karouzos and Rebekah Skaftoura (Karouzos’ wife) to behave like a state within the state?"
Then Livanos says he "witnessed another shocking case, as a result of which I saw two Arab Financial Funds and investment of 12 to 15 billion euro leaving Greece from 01.12.2011 to today." At the end, however, he indicates that even in this case, he does not have the protection of the state. "This is yet another threat to my life, but maybe Greece will not withstand another scandal, because a coalition government is necessary now more than ever."

Meanwhile, Evangelos Meimarakis, who has temporarily transferred his powers of parliamentary chairman to his deputies, has announced his tax returns from 1989 to 2010 and called the journalist and publisher of Real news newspaper Nikos Hatzinikolaou to do the same.

They do not indicate a significant change in his property, in the amount of his real estate, bank deposits and shares purchased. In particular, his incomes declared in the controversial period 2005-2008, during which Livanos indicated him as a partner in dubious transactions, did not change much. In 2005, he declared 135 thousand euro, 157.4 thousand euro in 2006, 156,816 euro in 2007 and 140,561 euro in 2008. According to the data, Evangelos Meimarakis owns 23 properties - six flats, two offices and a shop in Athens as well as agricultural land on the island of Crete. He has personally bought only two flats and has inherited most of the property.

Earlier today, Evangelos Meimarakis sent a letter to Justice Minister Antonis Roupakiotis with a request to make public all the information about the political persons under investigation by the Financial and Economic Crime Unit. The decision was taken at a meeting of the chairmen in order to protect the deputies, whose credibility has been tarnished by scrappy publications like that in Real news. "At a time when we are preparing to accept major decisions everything should be made public. It is not right for those, who file complaints to use unpunished confidential documents and for the ones against whom the complaints are directed to have no access to the files," associates of the parliamentary chairman state.


Tags: PoliticsPolitical scandalJoseph LivanosEvangelos Meimarakis
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