Michalopoulos testifies again

In new, six-hour testimony yesterday, the far right-wing publisher at the heart of an extortion scandal claimed he had been on the closest of terms with one of Greece’s industrial families for the past 30 years, and denied having blackmailed a relative by marriage of the Athens 2004 chief. Grigoris Michalopoulos, who on Tuesday testified for seven-and-a-half hours before prosecutor Dimitris Papangelopoulos, was yesterday questioned on his relations with the Angelopoulos family of industrialists. A claim by Theodoros Angelopoulos – whose wife, Gianna, heads Greece’s Olympic preparations – that his uncle, Dimitrios, was blackmailed by Michalopoulos kick-started the ongoing investigation, in which leading businessmen and two senior Church of Greece bishops have testified. Several accused Michalopoulos of extortion attempts, in certain cases, linked with a purported November 17 death threat. According to sources, Michalopoulos said he had been «on the friendliest of terms» with the Angelopoulos family for 30 years, and would never have blackmailed them.