NEWS

More people involved in ‘N17’ extortion ring?

Several people, and not just the marginal, extreme right-wing publisher already fingered this week, allegedly extorted money from a leading industrialist’s family on the pretext of staving off November 17 killerers, according to new claims yesterday. A lawyer representing Theodoros Angelopoulos – whose wife, Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, heads the 2004 Olympics organizing committee – alleged that, apart from publisher Grigoris Michalopoulos, a lawyer and a former Cabinet minister under the extreme right-wing 1967-74 military dictatorship extorted money from the Angelopoulos family. Yesterday, Theodoros Angelopoulos testified for three hours in connection with the extortion allegations, and is understood to have reiterated his lawyer’s claims. Other leading industrialists are to testify over the next few days. An April 1985 diary entry by Angelopoulos’s uncle Dimitrios alleges that he was approached by Michalopoulos who said he could remove him from N17’s hit list for a fee. The uncle was killed by N17 a year later. Yesterday, the government confirmed the diary was given in July by the Angelopoulos family to Prime Minister Costas Simitis, who immediately passed it on to Public Order Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis, and then to a prosecutor.