Reporters cleared for demolishing own story

Two journalists have been acquitted of fraud and extortion after a northern Greek court found they had stuck to the truth in demolishing a human interest story they had initially espoused as a worthy cause, according to an Athens News Agency report on Saturday. The tale of two young children whose parents could not afford to have their bad squints treated was eagerly embraced by television news programs. The coverage prompted a series of donations, which should have covered the Kato Nevrokopi sisters’ medical costs. But then the two journalists who first reported the story – Angelos Tzelios and Haroula Papatassiou – found that the parents had instead spent most of the cash raised to set up an ostrich farm and a canteen. New stories were filed, and the parents sued for 23,500 euros. Their suit was rejected by a Drama court.