NEWS

Makris, Peponis back in the saddle

Two financial prosecutors who tendered their resignations on Wednesday after claiming that a ?variety of organized interests? were attempting to derail their probes into a range of offenses, including tax evasion, withdrew their resignations on Friday during a brief meeting with deputy prosecutor Fotis Makris.

Grigoris Peponis and Spyros Mouzakitis submitted a two-page report to Makris, who had been ordered on Thursday by Supreme Court prosecutor Yiannis Tentes to conduct a probe into allegations by the two prosecutors whose job it is to investigate, among others, high-profile financial crimes.

On Wednesday, Peponis and Mouzakitis had said that among the factors that had compelled them to resign were ?politicoeconomic intervention? in their work, a lack of technical support and that their positions were being undermined by an imminent change to the law that would have passed their duties to a deputy prosecutor at the Supreme Court.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry on Friday informed Tentes that the contentious legal amendment will be withdrawn.

Coming out of their 15-minute meeting with Makris on Friday, Peponis and Mouzakitis confirmed that they will continue doing the job they have been assigned, saying «we are prosecutors of financial crimes and we remain on the ramparts.”

Peponis and Mouzakitis had recently launched probes into a number of high-profile cases, including major tax evasion, the resignation of Finance Ministry official Diomidis Spinellis after claims that fines on fuel trading firms were not being collected, banks? funding of Alter TV, allegations of benefits cheating and claims of fiddled statistics at the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT).

Their investigations, they said in their two-page report to Makris on Friday, «annoyed and caused concern among many people,» but, they added, they will not be going down «the foul path of naming names.”