The head of the Cyber Crimes Unit Manolis Sfakianakis was appointed to a specially created position Thursday after objections to the government’s plans to transfer the respected official to the force’s human resources department as part of a shake-up of the top brass.
Opposition parties and media reacted negatively to Wednesday night’s news that Sfakianakis, seen be many as heading an effective department, was being removed from his post. Alternate Citizens’ Protection Minister Nikos Toskas defended the government’s decision and questioned the perception of Sfakianakis as a strong performer.
“The government and the police leadership are focused on people’s ability and their ability to offer something to society as a whole, not the ability some people have in public relations or the time that they dedicate to the media,” he said.
Nevertheless, the media criticism appears to have sparked concern within the government, especially after Sfakianakis appealed against the decision to transfer him to the human resources department.
The decision to create a new position for Stefanakis to fill was reached during a conversation between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, who was in Brussels for the European Union leaders’ summit, and Toskas. Sfakianakis accepted the new role as assistant to the new Chief of Staff at the Hellenic Police, Zacharoula Tsirigoti. From this new position, Sfakianakis will be able to continue to oversee the work of the Cyber Crimes Unit.