NEWS

Privacy rules worry police

Police and judicial authorities sparred yesterday over Thursday’s decision by the Attica police chief to stop releasing the names of detained criminal suspects in order to protect his officers from prosecution under Greece’s privacy laws. Police General Giorgos Angelakos told journalists that an Athens prosecutor had «indirectly» forbidden police to publish names of suspects after two men arrested in January for involvement in the kidnapping of a Piraeus businessman, Ioannis Zonas, sued homicide squad officers for giving their names to the press. Angelakos said the prosecutor has pressed charges against his men for breaching the suspects’ privacy. As a result, when, coincidentally, three more suspects were arrested in connection with the same case on Thursday, their names were kept secret. But the Athens prosecutor’s office yesterday denied that any ban had been issued, adding that the prosecutor had pressed charges against «all responsible» for the breach of privacy, and not against specific police officers – who, however, were the ones who had released the information to the press, according to standard procedure.