NEWS

Vavilis is ready to reveal names

One of Greece's most wanted men, Apostolos Vavilis, was locked up in Korydallos Prison yesterday to serve a sentence for drugs trafficking but promised to reveal more about his links with the Church of Greece. Vavilis was sentenced to seven years in prison by an Athens court for bringing 1.8 kilos of heroin into Greece. His sentence will run concurrently with an identical jail term handed to him by a court in 1994 in Italy, from where Vavilis smuggled the drugs. He has already served 10 months of this sentence. Vavilis pleaded his innocence and said he smuggled the drugs «to help authorities.» He said he would do «anything for my homeland and religion.» He was allegedly involved in deals with the police, secret services and the Church of Greece. Vavilis claims he was sent by the head of the Church, Archbishop Christodoulos, to Jerusalem in 2001 to help the former patriarch, Irenaios, get elected to the top Church post. Christodoulos has denied that but admitted to writing letters of recommendation for Vavilis before and after his drugs conviction. «I will reveal the name of those who sent me [to Jerusalem] if it is not deemed a betrayal of the homeland,» Vavilis said. If he could turn back time, he said, he would not have gone to Jerusalem and said Irenaios, who was ousted last year, should be crying in a monastery. He added that people were trying to target Christodoulos through him: «I still love Christodoulos as I used to.»

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