Three lawmakers of the main opposition filed a criminal complaint on Thursday against a former executive of troubled Greek jewellery maker Folli Follie concerning a series of leaked company emails which insinuate political interference to protect the company from regulatory oversight.
The emails were contained in an audit report by PricewaterhouseCoopers which shows that the group’s management had, from 2001 to 2017, inflated its sales, profits and equity, through virtual purchases and sales from/to both affiliated companies and completely nonexistent ones.
The report suggests senior officials of the then SYRIZA government provided behind-the-scenes political cover to Folli Follie, with the knowledge of the prime minister at the time, Alexis Tsipras.
One email in particular between Folli Follie security director Nikolaos Sakkos, and the company’s then major shareholder, George Koutsolioutsos, includes a reference to the then prime minister, stating, among other things, that “the instruction from above is to assist the [Folli Follie] Group. This is the position of Maximos Mansion [the PM’s office]. The prime minister was also informed.”
SYRIZA MPs Alekos Flambouraris, Alexis Charitsis and Stavros Arachovitis submitted their complaint to Supreme Court prosecutor Vasiliki Pliota. The complaint targets Sakkos and anyone else who may be found responsible for defamation and insult.
“We filed a lawsuit to allow truth to shine. To prove that there is an effort to slander us and hurt SYRIZA, an effort that in my estimation is being made … by the New Democracy government in cooperation with interests either dark or visible,” said Flambouraris after submitting the complaint.
All three lawmakers have denied any wrongdoing.