Friday Jan 30, 2015 Search
Weather | Athens
16o C
13o 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)  
Trial over Greek Cup locker room entry to continue Monday
Wet, windy weather set to persist in Greece through weekend
New Greek PM Tsipras in Italy, France next week
Greece sets up cash crunch for March telling EU it’s over
Greece to cancel gas utility sale, opposes Canadian gold mine
Greece's new left-wing government will cancel plans to sell the state natural gas utility and is firmly opposed to a Canadian gold mine that is among the biggest foreign investment projects ...
Berlin: Greek aid extension only makes sense if Athens upholds reforms
Discussion about a debt reduction for Greece is not in tune with reality and Greece can only get an extension of its aid program if it is prepared to uphold the promised reforms, a spokesman...
Inside Business
SOCCER
Gattuso: Unpaid OFI players couldn´t buy food
Former coach Gennaro Gattuso has lifted the lid on the plight of crisis-club OFI Crete which has been banned from playing in the Super League until it clears mounting debts with its staff. T...
SOCCER
Olympiakos draws AEK in Cup quarterfinals
The dream draw of Olympiakos vs AEK in the quarterfinal materialized on Friday, as two of the capital's three giants will face off in a two-leg tie for a place in the semifinals of the Greek...
Inside Sports
INTERVIEW
SYRIZA must come up with ‘pragmatic solutions,’ Schulz tells Kathimerini
“SYRIZA must realize that it is now the Greek government, not a party running an election campaign,” European Parliament President Martin Schulz, the first European official to visit Greece ...
COMMENTARY
Strange haste
The members of the new government must have a lot of confidence in themselves. Several days before announcing his program, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his cabinet have opened up a mult...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Trial over Greek Cup locker room entry to continue Monday
2. Wet, windy weather set to persist in Greece through weekend
3. New Greek PM Tsipras in Italy, France next week
4. Gattuso: Unpaid OFI players couldn´t buy food
5. Greece sets up cash crunch for March telling EU it’s over
6. Greece warned against reversing bailout deals
more news
Today
This Week
1. SYRIZA must come up with ‘pragmatic solutions,’ Schulz tells Kathimerini
2. Why Greece went left while Europe turns to right
3. Capital flees Greece at fastest pace since 2011
4. Greek government's signals very mixed, ECB's Jazbec says
5. Monastiraki restaurant fire prompts panic, restricted before spread
6. EU's Schulz: Greece should follow EU line on Russia
Today
This Week
1. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
2. SYRIZA heads for historic victory but without majority
3. Greek Elections 2015 | LIVE
4. Greek Elections 2015: The day after | LIVE
5. SYRIZA's win will test institutions
6. Poll shows SYRIZA leading ND by 4 pct
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2015, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.