Probe finds MP’s claims of bribe bid groundless

The prosecutor tasked with probing allegations by Independent Greeks MP Pavlos Haikalis that he was offered a bribe to back the government in presidential elections has concluded that the claims are groundless.

In a seven-page report, deputy appeals court prosecutor Panayiotis Panayiotopoulos deemed that the alleged mediator in the affair, Giorgos Apostolopoulos, had not intended to bribe Haikalis but to expose him as corrupt. The prosecutor found no evidence that Apostolopoulos was acting on behalf of a banker or politician, as Haikalis claimed.

The report also concluded that Apostolopoulos’s failure to turn up at a third meeting, which had been planned to take place at Haikalis’s home, was not attributable to “a leak,” as the MP had maintained. No leak could have occurred as Haikalis had given neither judicial authorities nor police with the name of the alleged mediator. In view of this, the prosecutor found there were no grounds for accessing Apostolopoulos’s phone records. The second meeting between Haikalis and Apostolopoulos on December 6 was planned by Independent Greeks leader Panos Kammenos and was an attempt to trap Apostolopoulos, the report found, noting that both sides were recording the exchange. Haikalis only went to the prosecutor when he realized he was also being recorded.