Ex-minister wants kin freed
Former Defense Minister Akis Tsochatzopoulos, who is serving a 20-year prison sentence for setting up a money-laundering network to conceal millions of euros in kickbacks from defense deals, yesterday appealed to judges hearing the requests of his wife, Viki Stamati, and daughter, Areti Tsochatzopoulou, for early release from their respective 12-year sentences in connection with the same case. “My entire family has ended up in prison serving brutal sentences,” Tsochatzopoulos said, claiming that the pair had been convicted simply because they are his relatives. Stamati’s lawyer said his client was a special case as she has been under going psychiatric treatment for more than a year and had suicidal tendencies.
The Independent Greeks parliamentary group yesterday backed the party’s decision not to support any candidate to succeed President Karolos Papoulias in February’s election, regardless of who the nominee is. All 13 of the right-wing anti-austerity party’s MPs took part in the meeting and they reportedly arrived at a unanimous decision to reject whatever candidate the coalition puts forward.
Athens lawyers will be on strike from today until the end of the week in protest at a bill introducing changes to civil procedural law. The government is due to submit the draft law to Parliament today. The Athens Bar Association is due to give a news conference to explain its objection. Lawyers said they are angry the coalition did not take their objections on board.
Kathimerini’s revamped website was named among the winners at the 16th annual European Newspaper Awards yesterday. The online and cross media awards went to the multimedia (Erevnes) section of the website that uses photographs and video to accompany feature stories. A specific article, “A Cruise with no Strategic Plan,” written by Angelos Petropoulos, was also awarded. Enri Canaj was responsible for the photography and Gogo Bebelou the video editing. A total of 194 newspapers from 27 countries took part in the competition.
A baby Mediterranean monk seal, discovered on a beach on the Sporades island of Skopelos last Sunday, is being cared for at a special unit at the Attica Zoological Park, near Athens International Airport, aid workers said yesterday. The seal pup, which is believed to be just 2 weeks old, weighs 13 kilograms and is said to be suffering from dehydration and a respiratory infection, according to veterinarians who said the mammal’s condition must stabilize in the next few days if it is to survive.