Ex-MP claims ‘political persecution’ over charges connected to student’s suicide


A former New Democracy lawmaker and minister accused of moral instigation and dereliction of duty in the suicide of 20-year-old student Vangelis Giakoumakis in February said Friday he is a victim of “political persecution” aimed at “harming New Democracy in the runup to the upcoming general elections.”

Christos Markoyiannakis, a former MP for Hania, Crete, is accused of pressuring authorities at the Dairy School of Ioannina, where Giakoumakis was a student, to grant impunity to a group of Cretan students who are said to have made the young man a target of vicious bullying.

According to the investigation that was launched after Giakoumakis was found with his wrists slit in a stretch of brushland near the school more than a month after being reported missing, he had been subjected to months of humiliation and violence from his fellow students before deciding to take his own life.

A prosecutor in Ioannina deemed his death to be an act of murder, bringing charges against – among others – members of the school’s administration and Markoyiannakis, whose name and alleged involvement in the case was made public on Thursday.