NEWS

More blackmail evidence

There is more secretly filmed footage of former Culture Ministry General Secretary Christos Zachopoulos involved in an erotic tryst, a journalist claimed yesterday. Reporter Aris Spinos told the magistrate investigating the alleged blackmail of Zachopoulos that he had seen a DVD that shows the ex-public official with his former assistant at the ministry, Evi Tsekou. Spinos told magistrate Dimitris Economou that a woman calling herself «Dimitra» approached him with the disc. The journalist said that there is a conversation on the DVD that is of «exceptional political interest,» sources said. Spinos told Economou that he was convinced that there was a network of blackmailers out to get Zachopoulos. He provided details about «Dimitra» that could lead authorities to her. So far, only Tsekou has been charged with attempting to extort the alleged victim. She is being kept in custody at Korydallos prison. Tsekou yesterday issued a statement through her lawyer insisting that she had only approached the newspaper Proto Thema with a DVD, that bears no resemblance to the one sent by the prime minister’s press office to magistrates. Tsekou also claims she approached Mega TV but did not supply journalists there with any audiovisual material. The 35-year-old claims she approached journalists to inform them about a questionable hiring process at the Culture Ministry. The affair has exposed the government to strong criticism but Culture Minister Michalis Liapis hit back in Parliament yesterday, arguing that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. «For there to be a scandal, there has to be evidence,» he said. «From what we see, there is not even a trace of a scandal. «We cannot go on a witch hunt with the aim of scoring political points, just because some people feel that the circumstances demand precisely this.»