LIGNADIS AFFAIR

Prosecutor probes media reports over NGO role

prosecutor-probes-media-reports-over-ngo-role

The head of the Athens Prosecutor’s Office, Sotiria Papageorgakopoulou, ordered on Monday a preliminary investigation into media reports suggesting that Dimitris Lignadis, a prominent actor and director currently under arrest over underage rape allegations, tutored underage refugees from specific non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

The investigation was ordered after a complaint by the Migration Ministry’s special secretary for the protection of unaccompanied minors, Irene Agapidaki, who requested that authorities look into the allegations that concern the period from 2017-2018. 

Lignadis, 56, appeared before a court in Athens on Sunday and was given until Wednesday to respond to charges of multiple rapes by an examining magistrate. He will remain jailed until then, court authorities said.

Lignadis resigned on February 6 as the artistic director of Greece’s National Theater amid reports of his alleged behavior. 

Culture Minister Lina Mendoni had handpicked him for the job in August 2019 after scrapping an open competition for the post.

Several prominent cultural organizations have called for Mendoni’s resignation in recent days. 

‘Mudslinging’

Meanwhile, the director of the prime minister’s press office, Dimitris Tsiodras, on Monday denounced as “mudslinging” reports about a purported friendly relationship between the accused director and Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

“Enough with the mudslinging. Lignadis was not a friend of the prime minister. He only knew him from the plays he had watched. Another big fat lie: that [Lignadis] gave [Mitsotakis] vocal training. This never happened,” Tsiodras tweeted.

“Some people are trying to degenerate the Greek #metoo into a Greek QAanon,” Tsiodras  added in a reference to the conspiracy theory which holds that elite Democrats are part of a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles and cannibals.