NEWS

New political bias claims over probe

Renewing its attack on members of the judiciary, the government yesterday attributed political motivation to an Athens prosecutor who has accused former and current cabinet members of not preventing the illegal naturalization of thousands of ethnic Greeks from the former USSR. While Parliament was still debating the 2002 state budget, late on Thursday, prosecutor Isidoros Doyiakos presented the House with the findings of his investigation into opposition claims of thousands of illegal naturalizations by the ruling socialists. Opposition New Democracy also maintains that voters thus naturalized were used to influence the result of the 2000 national election. Doyiakos’s report said that there is evidence that people who have served, or are still serving, as members of the government as well as deputy ministers committed criminal offenses during their term in office at the ministries of Foreign Affairs, the Interior and Public Order between 1996 and 2001. Government spokesman Christos Protopappas said Doyiakos’s report once again raises serious questions regarding political motivation in both the timing and the content of the report… The prosecutor has unquestioningly adopted all New Democracy’s claims. The report accused ministers of failing to respond to repeated warnings by diplomatic authorities in eastern European countries. The US rejection of Greece’s appeal came days after Ankara, on May 7, rejected the flight plan of the Greek chief of the navy who was to attend a NATO ceremony in Turkey because his helicopter was scheduled to refuel on Rhodes, another island Ankara believes should be demilitarized.