Man charged with attempted violence against politicians

Man charged with attempted violence against politicians

A prosecutor brought felony charges of attempted violence against a political body, the government or its members against a man for allegedly sending threatening messages to lawmakers who have said they will support the Prespes deal.

The 63-year-old suspect, a former Navy officer, was given time until Thursday morning to appear before an investigative magistrate.

According to the file, he appeared to admit he sent the messages and allegedly said he urged others to do the same.

“I’m in trouble because I sent a message to [Deputy Citizens’ Protection Minister Katerina] Papacosta not to dare vote in favor of the Prespes agreement,” he reportedly said, according to state-run news agency ANA-MPA.

He appeared before the prosecutor without a lawyer.

He was arrested by state security late Monday night in the central Athenian district of Pangrati and reportedly expressed extreme-right and nationalist views during his questioning, according to police sources cited by the news agency.

According to the same sources, the man told police he decided to send the messages after a post he saw on social media by a New Democracy official who urged citizens to put pressure on lawmakers planning to support the name deal signed with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The suspect reportedly told police he sent numerous messages to MPs but the charges are mainly based on a message he sent on January 13 in which he calls lawmakers who back the name deal “traitors who will be executed if they vote the agreement.”

ANEL MP Thanassis Papachristopoulos had told news website last Saturday that he had deleted “more than 200 messages” on his mobile phone and received phone calls by someone telling him “his head will be found in a ditch” if he voted in favor of the name deal in Parliament.

Other lawmakers had received similar messages, the website said.

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