PM in line for grilling

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis will put himself in the firing line when he appears in Parliament to be questioned by MPs about the Zachopoulos case, as his government continues to be dogged by the scandal surrounding the attempted suicide of the former Culture Ministry general secretary. Karamanlis has yet to face any public questioning on the matter since Christos Zachopoulos jumped from his fourth-floor Kolonaki apartment before Christmas. The leader of the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA), Alekos Alavanos, has already submitted a question on the issue and is expected to press the premier to give straight answers. PASOK will also look to grab the opportunity to attack Karamanlis over the scandal, which has significantly dented the government’s popularity. A high-ranking member of Karamanlis’s office was again questioned in connection with the Zachopoulos case yesterday. But it emerged that Yiannis Angelou, the head of the prime minister’s political office, visited the magistrate for a second time of his own accord. Angelou, who was questioned earlier in the week in connection with the case and particularly how the government obtained a DVD proving Zachopoulos’s affair with his assistant, contacted the magistrate to tell him that he had further information to give. The fact that Angelou turned up for questioning at the unusually early time of 7.30 a.m. also prompted curiosity about what the official had to say. Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros told journalists not to read anything suspicious into the timing of the questioning. The probe into the Zachopoulos case is expected to reach a crucial stage next week as the co-owner of the Proto Thema newspaper, Themos Anastasiadis, is expected to submit himself for questioning for a second time. Proto Thema published photographs of Zachopoulos with his assistant Evi Tsekou and Anastasiadis has since been locked in a dispute with one of the newspaper’s other owners, Makis Triantafyllopoulos, who suggested that his colleague might have been the one who handed the DVD to the government. Three lawyers who worked with Tsekou when she allegedly approached the media about her affair with Zachopoulos will also be questioned next week.