Probe into drugs on Crete

Supreme Court prosecutor Giorgos Sanidas yesterday asked a Cretan appeals court prosecutor to re-examine all drug-trafficking cases filed since 1995 and check whether any suspects linked to last Monday’s ambush at Zoniana are wanted on other drug-related charges. Meanwhile, the government heralded plans to establish a police station in the lawless mountain village. Crete’s local prosecutor has been asked to check the backgrounds of all those arrested in connection with the attack on a police convoy last week and that of additional suspects still being sought. Sanidas has also called for a probe into allegations concerning «political protection for the Zoniana Mafia» and claims of possible police connections to local criminals. Moreover, he wants light shed on claims that previous offenders on drug charges have got off with light sentences. If this is proven to be the case, the responsible judicial officials will be punished, Sanidas said. Parliament’s transparency committee is today to discuss the situation at Zoniana, in particular the existence of alleged links between politicians and local criminal gangs. Also yesterday Interior Minister Prokopis Pavlopoulos heralded a series of measures aimed at restoring order and boosting the community of Zoniana. Chief among these is a «local government complex» – so named to avoid protests by residents at the creation of a police station, which the unit will contain along with a doctor’s surgery. There are also plans to build a day center for the elderly, and fix local roads and the irrigation network. Zoniana’s community leader Costas Parasiris said the measures were «a step in the right direction.» Police continuing their search of Zoniana and surrounding villages yesterday discovered another 15 guns hidden in a cave and more drugs. The condition of a 28-year-old special forces officer who was shot in the neck during last Monday’s ambush had improved yesterday, doctors said, adding that he may be moved from intensive care in the next few days.