NEWS

Suspect surrenders

Police arrested a man yesterday believed to have murdered Yiannis Vartholomaios, the head of the country’s largest social security fund (IKA), after he turned himself into authorities. Police said the 59-year-old man, who was not identified, confessed to murdering Vartholomaios on Friday after suspecting that he was having an affair with his wife. The victim was found dead in the stairwell of an apartment block in Zografou, eastern Athens, after having suffered head injuries. Vartholomaios had visited the apartment, without being escorted by his personal guard, and was allegedly attacked by the 59-year-old as he was leaving the building. The suspect, an employee of the Finance Ministry’s Statistics Service, told police that he had been informed of Vartholomaios’s meeting with his wife by a private detective hired to track his partner. He then waited for the 66-year-old IKA boss to leave by hiding in a stairwell between the building’s first and second floors. After leaving the apartment, the suspect is said to have hit Vartholomaios over the head with his hands and cell phone but insists that he had no intention of murdering him. A coroner’s report on Saturday showed that the victim had died from multiple blows to the head with a marble object. The alleged murderer then claimed to have called on his wife to help provide assistance to Vartholomaios, who was unconscious, but she refused to open the door, apparently witnessing the entire incident from the peephole. The suspect turned himself in to police yesterday, accompanied by two lawyers. He has been charged with homicide. Vartholomaios, who was in charge of IKA since 2004, was a senior member of the governing conservative party.