DVD fallout spreads wide

Another of the prime minister’s close aides, Yiannis Angelou, was questioned by the magistrate investigating the Zachopoulos case as the rift widened between the high-profile joint owners of the newspaper that published photographs of the former Culture Ministry general secretary’s affair with his assistant. Angelou, the head of the premier’s political office, is believed to have confirmed the evidence given a day earlier by Yiannis Andrianos, who is in charge of Costas Karamanlis’s press office. The government is hoping that this will be the end of its involvement in the investigation into the alleged blackmail of Christos Zachopoulos but a deepening row between the publishers of Proto Thema newspaper, TV presenters Themos Anastasiadis and Makis Triantafyllopoulos, threatens to embroil the ruling conservatives. What was an already complex matter became even more complicated late on Monday night when Triantafyllopoulos claimed that he had been approached by an unnamed New Democracy MP who said that the financial crimes squad was willing to drop a probe against Anastasiadis if his newspaper stopped implicating the head of the service and former Culture Ministry official Spyros Kladas in the Zachopoulos case. Kladas filed a lawsuit against Triantafyllopoulos yesterday and the government denied it was involved in any exchange with Anastasiadis. Anastasiadis accepted that he was being investigated over a sum of 5 million euros deposited in his bank account with BNP Paribas in France. He said there was nothing shady about the origin of the money and that it had been deposited for a matter related to Proto Thema. The financial crimes squad was notified about the deposit by the bank in July and began investigating in November following an anonymous tip-off, sources said.