Publisher, two journalists, facing charges of extortion

Publisher, two journalists, facing charges of extortion

A publisher and two journalists who are accused of trying to extort hundreds of thousands of euros from officials at public organizations, banks and businesses were on Tuesday given until Friday to prepare their deposition.

Panagiotis Mavrikos and his two reporters were arrested on Monday after a police investigation allegedly found evidence that they were blackmailing the officials. Police sources claimed that the income from the extortion reached up to 500,000 euros a month.

The publisher’s lawyer, Alexis Kougias, claimed the charges were unfounded. “The publicity that the media has given this case is not justified,” he said before they faced a prosecutor on Tuesday.

Another defense lawyer, Theodoros Mantas, said the allegations were exaggerated and that the suspects had been involved in discussions about advertising.

The three face felony and misdemeanor charges, including blackmail and being part of a criminal gang.

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