Publisher jailed for blackmail

Far-right publisher Grigoris Michalopoulos was taken to Korydallos Prison yesterday to serve an 18-year sentence, without parole, after a court found him guilty of blackmailing two of Greece’s biggest businessmen by telling them they were targets of the November 17 terrorist group and demanding large sums to have them removed from its hit list. The three-member appeals court in Athens judged that Michalopoulos had blackmailed tycoon Theodoros Angelopoulos, husband of Athens Olympics chief Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, and business magnate Yiannis Latsis, who died in 2003. He was found guilty of telling the entrepreneurs that, for a fee, he could pay off Nov.17 and prevent them from killing the businessmen. In 2003, 15 people were convicted of belonging to the extreme left-wing group, which was blamed for 23 murders and a string of bomb attacks. Michalopoulos, who owns Eleftheri Ora newspaper, was cleared of blackmailing former mayor of Vouliagmeni Grigoris Kasidokostas, businessman Argyris Saliarelis and Chrysostomos, Bishop of Zakynthos.

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