Adding a new twist to the Porto Carras hotel affair, the Supreme Court has instructed a lower court to investigate whether a Halkidiki community was bludgeoned by junta officials into trading the land on which the resort was built for a barren, rocky expanse. In a decision made public yesterday, Greece’s highest civil and criminal court overturned a ruling by a Thessaloniki appeals court that rejected a bid by the Neos Marmaras local authority to have the 1967 exchange annulled. Two years after the collapse of the 1967-74 dictatorship, in 1976, the local authority tabled a suit claiming that members of its board had been forced to exchange an 85-hectare coastal, wooded expanse for a 450-hectare rocky area owned by the Porto Carras company. This was rejected by the appeals court. But the Supreme Court found that Neos Marmaras officials had received «intense threats from the junta’s minister for northern Greece» to agree to the exchange, and instructed the Thessaloniki appeals court to re-examine the case. The hotel’s current owners bought Porto Carras in 1999.