Tuesday March 3, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
20o C
11o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Judges get tough as Baltakos probe gets under way

Former government secretary general Takis Baltakos arrives at a prosecutor's office to give a testimony in Athens yesterday. Baltakos, a top aide to the Greek prime minister, resigned last week after a leaked video showed him suggesting the government had tried to press judges to jail lawmakers from the far-right Golden Dawn party.

Panayiotis Baltakos, a former aide to Prime Minister Antonis Samaras who resigned last week over a video showing him in conversation with the spokesman of neo-fascist Golden Dawn Ilias Kasidiaris, told a prosecutor Monday that he had no idea he was being filmed, as a top Supreme Court judge warned that anyone found to have made use of illegally acquired recordings would face immediate arrest.

Baltakos, who testified for two-and-a-half hours before prosecutor Calliope Dagianta as a witness, said the meeting with Kasidiaris had taken place “about six months ago” in his office in Parliament “with the doors open” and had not been secret. According to sources, the former aide reiterated that it had been his initiative to “have contact” with Golden Dawn in a bid to understand the workings of the neo-fascist party with the ultimate aim of drawing back old New Democracy voters. He suggested, however, that his stance had not harmed the conservative party or the government. “I did not reveal anything to them or give them information,” he said.

On leaving the prosecutor’s office, Baltakos sought to reiterate his allegiance to the conservative party, saying “I was, I am and I will always be ND.” According to sources, Baltakos also insisted during his testimony that Samaras had not been aware of his meetings with Golden Dawn cadres, much less ordered them. “The prime minister had Merkel and Barroso to deal with,” Baltakos was quoted as saying, referring to German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso. “Should I have left him to deal with Kasidiaris too?”

Baltakos’s testimony is expected to lead to further charges being brought in the coming days against Kasidiaris, who already faces charges of setting up a criminal organization and illegal weapons possession.

Meanwhile, Supreme Court Prosecutor Efterpi Koutzamani ordered Greek prosecutors to initiate proceedings for the immediate arrest of anyone found to have used illegally acquired footage. According to Koutzamani’s order, MPs found to have used such videos will face immediate arrest without the need for Parliament to vote to lift their immunity from prosecution.

Koutzamani issued the order in response to a request by Public Order Minister Nikos Dendias, asking her to investigate claims by the ultra-right party there are more secret videos.

In a development that appeared to be indirectly related, Failos Kranidiotis, a lawyer who is another close aide to Samaras, announced Monday that he would not be standing as a New Democracy candidate for European Parliament in May’s elections. Kranidiotis was elected to the conservative’s political committee last summer but has critics within ND and among opposition parties because of his strong nationalist views and hardline opinions on issues such as immigration. It was PASOK, the junior coalition partner, that sought his withdrawal however, Kathimerini understands.

“The agenda that our ideological opponents are trying to impose is to identify every nationalist voice with fascism, racism, the far-right and to make our party feel guilty about issues that have nothing to do with us,” Kranidiotis said.

ekathimerini.com , Monday April 7, 2014 (19:14)  
Greek-Turkish diplomacy set to resume after Ankara ´mistake´
Defense probes yielding evidence
Prosecutors propose strict conditions for Golden Dawn MPs’ release
Greek police catch pedophile, 40, who lured boy into van
ECB funding to Greek banks rose 47 percent in January
European Central Bank funding to Greek banks rose 47 percent in January from a month earlier, Greek central bank data showed on Tuesday, as deposit flight squeezed liquidity and forced the c...
Stock market inches up in day of low turnover
Early gains had all but evaporated by the end of Tuesday’s bourse session, but the benchmark still managed to put an end to its four-day losing streak. Lenders, however, held on to most of t...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Marinakis fines Olympiakos players
Olympiakos president Evangelos Marinakis on Monday fined the team 500,000 euros for disappointing performances and called on them to make a «sacrifice» to win trophies or leave. "Olympiakos ...
SOCCER
Olympiakos´s Karembeu confident UEFA on top of racism
Olympiakos strategic advisor Christian Karembeu expressed his confidence on Tuesday that UEFA are getting to grips with racism in soccer after suffering abuse during the recent Greek derby a...
Inside Sports
COMMENTARY
Greece and the four month window of opportunity
As the dust begins to settle after the Eurogroup agreement extending the loan facility to Greece by four months, it is a good moment to have a look at where we should go from here. Much has ...
COMMENTARY
The Greek tax drama
Numbers alone can never interpret reality, not even a strictly financial one. Besides, the art of creative accounting has a number of fans in this country, many more, for the time being, tha...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Greek-Turkish diplomacy set to resume after Ankara ´mistake´
2. Defense probes yielding evidence
3. ECB funding to Greek banks rose 47 percent in January
4. Prosecutors propose strict conditions for Golden Dawn MPs’ release
5. Greek police catch pedophile, 40, who lured boy into van
6. Greek doctors offered 450-euro bonus to work on small islands
more news
Today
This Week
1. The Greek tax drama
2. Varoufakis to make six reform proposals at Monday's Eurogroup
3. Draghi’s QE moves to starting line as economic outlook brightens
4. Convicted Conspiracy of the Cells Fire member to face magistrate
5. Greece approved as recipient of EBRD funding through 2020
6. Investor survey shows 38 pct chance of eurozone break-up in 12 months
Today
This Week
1. Greece to make international protest over Turkey reserving Aegean air space
2. A fierce battle looms
3. SYRIZA feeling the pain
4. Spain said to lead push to hold Greece to terms as Podemos grows
5. The unlikely winners of Greece's surrender on euro
6. The Greek tax drama
Advertiser Link
“AMF” PROJECT FINAL CONFERENCE-REGIONAL UNIT OF THESPROTIA
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.