Blackmail suspect released on bail

The former assistant to Culture Ministry general secretary Christos Zachopoulos was released from custody yesterday, some seven months after being taken to Korydallos jail in the wake of her boss’s suicide attempt. Evi Tsekou, who has been charged with trying to blackmail Zachopoulos with a DVD of her and the married ex-official having sex, told journalists that she was happy to be free. «I am really pleased and hopeful about the way the case is unfolding and happy to be breathing the air of freedom again,» she told reporters. A council of judges decided there was no risk of Tsekou fleeing the country and that she should be released. The 35-year-old had applied for bail several times previously. It was not clear why the judges decided to release her this time. Tsekou admitted to making mistakes but said that there are many other people who should have been charged. She is likely to have been referring to, among others, newspaper publisher Themos Anastasiadis, whom Tsekou has claimed stole the material on the DVD. Anastasiadis appeared before magistrate Dimitris Economou yesterday, demanding that he be allowed to testify. Anastasiadis was accompanying Yiannis Makriyiannis, a journalist at his Proto Thema newspaper, who has also been charged in connection with the case. Makriyiannis denies viewing Tsekou’s DVD when she allegedly visited the newspaper’s offices. He described the accusations against him and Anastasiadis as «unsubstantiated,» suggesting that they were being made scapegoats for «throwing out» high-profile journalist Makis Triantafyllopoulos from the newspaper.