Prosecutors make sudden return

The two prosecutors whose resignations sparked a flurry of activity that led to Parliament launching its own investigation into the Vatopedi property scandal decided to return to work yesterday. Ilias Koliousis and Eleni Sotiropoulou resigned last month, claiming that their superiors had stopped the probe from being forwarded to Parliament when they discovered evidence that suggested the involvement of ministers in the deal, which left public coffers 100 million euros short. The two prosecutors held talks with Justice Minister Sotiris Hatzigakis and Supreme Court president Vassilis Nikopoulos before reaching the decision to return to work but only agreed to come back after being given assurances that they would not have to work under their previous superior Kyriakos Karoutsos. The pair stuck to their opinion that Karoutsos had blocked the probe from reaching Parliament and instead appointed a third prosecutor to the investigation. Koliousis and Sotiropoulou will not return to the Vatopedi investigation. The affair had left the government exposed to claims that it had tried to influence the judiciary, so the return of the prosecutors may help mend some of the damage done last month. However, the return of Koliousis and Sotiropoulou did not prevent PASOK from demanding of Hatzigakis that he look into the reasons for their resignations. «You are obliged to adopt disciplinary measures against those that led to the two prosecutors tendering their resignations,» said PASOK MP Evangelos Venizelos. Hatzigakis dismissed the two prosecutors’ decision to step down as «the kind of squabble that families have from time to time.»