ND sticks by accused politician

Veteran politician Yiannis Kefaloyiannis will not be forced to resign from the honorary position of adviser to the prime minister after being charged with protecting a criminal, the government said yesterday. Kefaloyiannis, a former interior minister, is «an informal and unpaid adviser, so what position should he resign from?» said government spokes-man Evangelos Antonaros. «No one should rush to draw conclusions about a man who has offered as much to politics as Mr Kefaloyiannis,» he added. On Thursday a prosecutor in Rethymnon charged the retired Cretan MP with harboring a criminal after allegations that he asked policemen not to testify against a farmer they caught cultivating 550 cannabis trees in the area of Mylopotamos in 2006. Kefaloyiannis also issued a statement in which he denied the charges against him, dismissing them as an effort to tarnish his reputation, and vowed to take up a legal battle to clear his name.