NEWS

Pedophilia claim in Alex case

Alex Meshivili, the 11-year-old boy who went missing in Veria, northern Greece, just over a year ago, may have been a victim of pedophiles and a cover-up by authorities, a psychologist and the boy’s mother said yesterday. «I believe Alex’s disappearance is linked to pedophilia,» said psychologist Christina Antonopoulou, who is advising prosecutors in the investigation. «I visited Veria and Edessa and I have to tell you that I have never seen children who are so alienated due to physical and mental abuse.» The schoolboy went missing on February 3 last year and although five classmates have been linked to his disappearance and possible death, Alex’s body has not been found and the investigation has stalled. «I think my son was targeted because he witnessed sexual activity, probably between adults and the minors that have been accused,» said Alex’s mother Natela Ichuadze during a press conference. «This ready-made information and ideas about Alex’s disappearance do not convince me,» said Ichuadze. «Someone knows and is covering it up.» The five minors were initially questioned last June and allegedly told police they killed Alex by mistake and dumped his body. However, Antonopoulou alleged that the schoolboys have been lying to authorities. She claimed that the police are involved in a cover-up and that a number of powerful people are linked to the child’s disappearance. The psychologist declined to name the suspects, claiming she has been blackmailed. An investigative magistrate has been looking into the disappearance of the Georgian-born boy for the last five months.