A Piraeus court on Monday rejected an appeal for early release by Makis Yiannousakis – serving a life sentence for his involvement in a huge shipment of heroin intercepted in Greece in 2014 – on the grounds that his life is at risk, as two attempts have already been made against him in prison.
Addressing the judges, the businessman also threatened to publish more telephone recordings implicating officials, particularly Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, in alleged efforts to get him to testify against shipowner Vangelis Marinakis in connection with the drug haul on the Noor 1 cargo ship.
“I recorded every one because I wanted to expose them,” Yiannousakis told the court, saying that he had been blackmailed by a coast guard official to testify against Marinakis and after refusing was pressured on several occasions by Kammenos, who heads the right-wing Independent Greeks party in Greece’s coalition government.
The claims have put the leftist-led coalition under fire and on Monday Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras rejected a demand by opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for a special committee to investigate the allegations.
An MP with the conservative party, Makis Voridis, also demanded answers regarding the accusations, questioning Kammenos in regard to the content of at least a dozen telephone conservations he allegedly had with Yiannousakis.
“You are the accused, not the one making accusations,” Voridis said after Kammenos asked the conservative lawmaker whether he “has the guts” to file a censure motion.