Four go to court over sex DVD scandal

A former Culture Ministry employee, her lawyer and two journalists are to stand trial in connection with a sex scandal that rocked the previous conservative government, as it involved a former public official who was very close to ex-Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis. When Christos Zachopoulos, then general secretary at the Culture Ministry, attempted to commit suicide by jumping from the balcony of his fourth-floor Kolonaki apartment in December 2007, nobody could have imagined the consequences this action would have for Karamanlis, to whom he had been close since the 1980s, and his government. Soon reports began to emerge that Zachopoulos had been having an affair with a ministry employee, Evi Tsekou, and that she in turn had tried to blackmail him into giving her a permanent position. Revealing photos of the couple appeared in a national newspaper and it was revealed that a high-profile journalist had met with one of Karamanlis’s aides to pass him a copy of a DVD showing Zachopoulos and Tsekou having sex. A council of appeals court judges decided yesterday that Tsekou, her lawyer Christos Nikolitsopoulos, the former co-owner of Proto Thema newspaper and TV presenter Themos Anastasiadis and journalist Yiannis Makriyiannis should stand trial for their part in the affair. Tsekou faces charges of blackmail and breaching privacy rights. Anastasiadis has been charged with the latter. The other two stand accused of being accessories. The judges decided that there was enough evidence that Tsekou tried to blackmail Zachopoulos with the footage of their liaisons. Anastasiadis allegedly copied this footage without Tsekou’s knowledge when she took the DVD to the Proto Thema newspaper and then used this to gain a meeting with Karamanlis’s adviser Yiannis Angelou.