Zachopoulos questions roll on

The probe into the alleged blackmail of the former Culture Ministry general secretary is due to continue today with the questioning of the head of the financial crimes squad Spyros Kladas, after New Democracy MP Costas Koukodimos denied yesterday acting as a middleman for the official. Koukodimos was grilled about allegations that he approached journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos on behalf of Kladas to ask that the Proto Thema newspaper stop publishing stories linking the official with the Zachopoulos case. Kladas had previously served at the Culture Ministry and is alleged to have been contacted by Zachopoulos’s assistant Evi Tsekou when she was trying to find a permanent position at the ministry. Following the questioning, Koukodimos, a former long-jump champion, emerged to tell journalists that he had nothing to fear. Triantafyllopoulos had alleged that a conservative deputy, who he did not name publicly, asked him to stop focusing on Kladas’s role and the financial crimes squad would in return drop an investigation into how more than 5 million euros ended up in the bank account of Proto Thema co-owner Themos Anastasiadis. Kladas is expected to tell magistrates today that the investigation into Anastasiadis’s millions began well before the Zachopoulos case emerged and that there is no link between the two. Zachopoulos was moved out of intensive care yesterday to continue his recovery. He has spent more than a month in intensive care after jumping from the fourth-floor balcony of his home and is still not in a position to face questioning from magistrates. Sources said that Zachopoulos’s improving health should make it possible for him to give evidence next month.