Fresh claims in bribery inquiry

Allegations linking television journalists and government officials to the growing Zachopoulos scandal dominated the press over the weekend as a magistrate investigating the affair prepared for a busy week of additional testimonies. One of the biggest stirs was caused by a front-page report in Paron, a centrist Sunday newspaper. The report charged that an unidentified individual had communicated with TV presenter and newspaper publisher Themos Anastasiadis by telephone, on behalf of former Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos, to discover whether Anastasiadis had any «material» incriminating to Zachopoulos. The call is alleged to have taken place hours before Zachopoulos attempted suicide. According to Paron, Anastasiadis told the caller that Zachopoulos would see the pictures in Proto Thema – the Sunday newspaper that Anastasiadis publishes and that first showed the photos of Zachopoulos naked with an unidentified woman. Anastasiadis has denied the claims and threatened legal action against Paron. Another report, in yesterday’s Eleftherotypia, says the magistrate probing the Zachopoulos scandal is focusing on two well-known journalists and a female official at the Culture Ministry, none of whom were identified. This week a prosecutor is to hear testimony from New Democracy MP Costas Koukodimos, who has been implicated in alleged blackmail linked to the Zachopoulos affair.