Into the Cretan labyrinth

The taped dialogues of alleged members of the «Gang of 16» killers and kidnappers are the product of wiretaps which recorded the conversations of people who are not likely to always be frank and objective. It will take much solid evidence to prove the truth of what they say. At the same time, the release of names of politicians and state functionaries raises another issue: How could a state mechanism, the intelligence service in this case, make public the names of respectable people simply because some criminals mentioned them? We receive the «information» through filters capable of distorting anything: Two underworld types converse, their dialogue is taped and, after processing, is given to the suspects’ lawyers; then, someone who remains anonymous (because what he does is illegal), passes this on to the news media, which select what they will use. However, despite our reservations, we must not overlook the fact that the dialogues offer us a glimpse of the underworld. It is clear that much is rotten in our country. One example being the illicit relationship between criminals and prison officers on Crete. Already two senior officials have been suspended after being implicated in a scandal over the transfer of a prisoner. It may just be a coincidence but the same two are linked to the early release of a killer who subsequently murdered a student in Rethymno. An investigation by the victim’s parents revealed a suspicious network of lies that helped secure the killer’s parole. For many years Crete has labored under its acceptance of lawlessness and organized bullies. The village of Zoniana is the most glaring proof of a situation that endangers the island’s society. When the underworld also rules the prisons, then law-abiding citizens have no hope. The government and law enforcement agencies showed rare effectiveness in the fight against the gangsters. They should not pass up the chance of following the trail into the labyrinth and revealing those who conspire against their own society.

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