NEWS

Vavilis says he is just a scapegoat

In a 30-page response to the collection of charges against him, imprisoned drug smuggler Apostolos Vavilis claims he is being accused of crimes he did not commit because of a media-led campaign, sources said yesterday. The written testimony is in the hands of judicial authorities who are investigating Vavilis in connection with a range of charges, including forgery, false impersonation, breaching state secrets, embezzlement, theft and perjury. The charges relate to alleged dealings with the Church of Greece and secret services. Vavilis says the media has made it look as if he was involved in «every crime that has been committed in Greece in the last 25 years.» He claims that he was merely «a pawn» in a game between «vested interests.» Vavilis vehemently denies that he had any links with secret services. He insists that members of the Church of Greece sent him to Jerusalem in 2001 to help Irenaios, the patriarch at the time, get re-elected. Archbishop Christodoulos denies any involvement.