NEWS

Abduction charges filed

An Athens prosecutor yesterday filed charges against unidentified suspects in connection with the alleged abduction of Pakistanis in Greece last summer, after completing a four-month investigation into the alleged incident. Court of First Instance Prosecutor Nikos Degaitis filed criminal abduction charges against «unknown persons» for illegally kidnapping at least 10 Pakistanis in July last year in the wake of terrorist bombings in London. An investigating magistrate will now be responsible for bringing charges against specific people or deciding the case should be dropped. Sources told Kathimerini that Degaitis had not been able to clearly establish the involvement of Greek intelligence agents. Eight officers of the National Intelligence Agency (EYP) were suspected but Degaitis discovered during his probe that six had a strong alibi while the other two were on operational duties which would not have allowed them to be in Greece when the abductions allegedly took place. The government denies that any Greek officers were involved. Degaitis was also not able to establish the involvement of foreign intelligence agents. A British secret agent who is said to have participated in the kidnapping was not questioned because of his diplomatic immunity, Degaitis said in his report. In December, Frangiskos Ragousis, the lawyer representing 28 Pakistanis who claim to have been kidnapped and questioned, filed a lawsuit against the Greek agents and one British officer named in a newspaper article. In his report, Degaitis says the abductions were either the product of a feud between Pakistani migrants or an operation by «agents of the state» – though the deputy prosecutor did not explain this term. «The charges confirm that the criminal act of abduction has been committed,» said Ragousis. «Apart from the criminal aspect, there is also the huge political responsibility on the part of all those who up to now denied that the abductions took place in a cover-up effort.»