Belgium did not ‘delay’ in MEP’s case, lawyer says

Belgium did not ‘delay’ in MEP’s case, lawyer says

The lawyer representing a woman who has accused SYRIZA MEP Alexis Georgoulis of rape pushed back on Wednesday against claims that Belgian justice authorities had been slow off the mark in their response to the case.

The original complaint by Eleni Chronopoulou was submitted in 2020, accusing Georgoulis of rape and causing bodily harm.

“We have been in contact since then,” Spilios Spiliakos told SKAI TV, stressing that “there is no question of the investigation being delayed in the sense that they could have done something faster and did not do it by choice.”

“From what I have been told by colleagues in Belgium, the timescale in which they acted is normal,” he noted.

Referring to his client, he said she is a “strong and fierce woman, despite the fact that her name was made public without her consent.”

Georgoulis resigned earlier this week after European parliamentary authorities received a request to lift his immunity as an MEP as part of an investigation into the alleged sexual abuse dating back to three years ago. He vehemently denies the allegations and attributes political motives behind them, just before national elections.

Meanwhile, the Athens Journalists’ Union (ESHEA) denounced several Greek media outlets that publicized the identity of the plaintiff without her consent, and without considering the message they are sending to people who have suffered or are suffering any kind of violence and harassment.

“The profession of journalism should encourage victims to speak out, not expose them in full public view on the altar of a misplaced need for information,” it said in a statement on Wednesday.

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