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For the third time Independent Greeks are trying to intimidate the media

07 April 2014 / 20:04:16  GRReporter
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Chief editor of Greek newspaper "Eleftheros typos" (Free Press) Despina Kontaraki was apprehended and taken to a police station late on Sunday afternoon after Independent Greeks deputy Rachel Makri filed a claim against her.

After testifying, the journalist was released by order of the prosecutor. At the same time, the police were searching for George Kouvaras, a colleague of hers from the newspaper, and for publisher Alexis Skanavis.

Appartently the deputy had filed the claim since she had felt affected by Despina Kontaraki’s article in which the journalist comments on the words expressed in parliament by Rachel Makri to the government, regarding the arrests of Golden Dawn members last September, "You are the junta, sending innocent people to prison."

The comment in "Eleftheros typos" that made the deputy furious is, "Without any shame Rachel Makri calls innocent those who gave orders or participated in the action groups that dispersed on the streets at night, searching for victims, those who fed the hatred and led to the murders of Sahdzhat Luckmann and Pavlos Fyssas." In her article in the Sunday edition of the newspaper Kontaraki defines the memorable phrase of indescribable Rachel Makri from Independent Greeks, ‘sending innocent people to prison’ as, at the very least, tragic."

Police sources claim that Makri has filed claims against journalist Yiannis Pretenderis and "To Vima" newspaper publisher Stavros Psiharis in connection with a similar publication.

The decision of the pushy deputy to request the arrest of Kontaraki who was in the editor’s office of the newspaper to work on today's issue has provoked an avalanche of criticism. Despite the reactions of political parties, professional journalistic organizations and citizens, today Makri did not repent but stated that she would continue to file claims against not only journalists, but also against deputies.

"I do not regret what I did and will continue with the claims to the end," she told Skai TV, adding that she was angry mainly because of the definition "indescribable" and that she had turned to the police and justice, since her life was in jeopardy.

Makri stated she had never said the words in question regarding Golden Dawn. "They refer to something I have never said. They cannot prove this and spread false information on purpose. I trust the Greek justice and police, and believe that they will protect me."

At the same time leader of Independent Greeks Panos Kammenos decided to support Makri’s actions from his Facebook profile with the following words, "That's why the media and journalists acting as informers of the occupiers, of the lenders, will be prosecuted under the civil and criminal law". His threat was complemented by the inevitable slogan, "We are many, we are independent, we are Greeks", although his parliamentary group lost two seats in parliament only 10 days ago.

Judicial sources say that even when the police arrest persons on charges of committing violations the press prosecutors never decide in favour of their detention.

The chief editor of "Eleftheros typos" is not the first journalist against whom Independent Greeks are filing a claim. Shortly before the elections in May 2012 journalist and publisher of "Friday the 13th" Emilios Liatsos was arrested on the basis of a defamation complaint filed by Panos Kammenos’ wife, lawyer Elena Dzouli. Liatsos appeared before the prosecutor on charges of violating a court decision that the newspaper should not mention the name of Dzouli.

Last October, "Ta Nea" newspaper journalist George Papahristos was arrested on the basis of a claim filed by Panos Kammenos. The leader of Independent Greeks had requested the detention of the journalist because of his publication in the newspaper. In both cases, the journalists were released shortly after their arrest.

Tags: PoliticsMediaArrestJournalistLawsuitIndependent GreeksRachel Makri
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