The government confirmed yesterday that notes from the diary of a leading industrialist who was murdered by the November 17 terrorist gang in 1986 had been given to Prime Minister Costas Simitis by the dead man’s family last summer. The note, by Dimitris Angelopoulos, alleges that he had been approached in April 1985 by extreme right-wing publisher Grigoris Michalopoulos, who assured him he could remove him from N17’s hit list if he were paid to do so. Prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos is expected to start seeing witnesses as early as today, including the late industrialist’s nephew, Theodoros Angelopoulos, and the latter’s wife, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, president of the Athens 2004 Organizing Committee. Members of the Latsis, Vardinoyiannis, Tsatsou, Stasinopoulos and Kontominas families – the biggest industrialists in the country – will also be asked to testify with regard to alleged extortion attempts. «It is true that the Angelopoulos family visited the prime minister and gave him a photocopy of an extract from the diary of Dimitris Angelopoulos, which the prime minister immediately gave to Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis who passed it on to the competent authorities,» government spokesman Christos Protopappas said. The judicial probe is into whether there was any extortion and whether N17 was linked to the alleged extortionists. No one has been charged and Michalopoulos has denied the allegations. Yesterday he accused the Angelopoulos family of persecuting him for unspecified reasons and warned he would take legal action. Meanwhile, the country’s 250 appeals court judges will meet tomorrow to elect 30 judges, five prosecutors and five deputy prosecutors for the March 3 trial of the N17 suspects.