04 Feb 2017 Lvl. 2
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Alert created on: 12 Jan 2017 Greece

A Greek Newspaper Publisher and Director Charged with Libel

Source of threatState
CategoryHarassment and intimidation of journalists
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI RSF
No state reply yet
Partner EFJ/IFJ AEJ Index IPI RSF
On 10 January 2017, Greek police arrested the publisher and the director of Parapolitika newspaper, Giannis Kourtakis and Panayiotis Tzenos, following a lawsuit filed against them for libel and attempted extortion by Defense Minister Panos Kammenos. The publisher, Giannis Kourtakis, said he went voluntarily to the police headquarters after being informed about the lawsuit, while director Panagiotis Tzenos was arrested by police in his office, in Athens. Panos Kammenos filed a lawsuit against Kourtakis and Tzenos for allegedly libel and attempted extortion through repeated attacks against him made by Parapolitika radio station in order for the minister to withdraw his accusations that Kourtakis and Tzenos received large sums of improper funding from a state health entity. The public prosecutor who investigated the lawsuit dropped charges of criminal extortion. Giannis Kourtakis and Panayiotis Tzenos were released pending trial for alleged libel. The Journalists’ Union of the Athens Daily Newspapers condemned the heavy handed police action when ten officers raided the Parapolitika headquarters and the detained the director.
Updates
04 Feb 2017
On 3 February 2017, the publisher of Parapolitika, Giannis Kourtakis, received a 23-month prison sentence with a three-year suspension. The director of the newspaper, Panayiotis Tzenos, was acquitted by the Court.
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