A report from the state news agency said later on that about a week ago the Appeals Prosecutor ordered Attica police to launch a preliminary investigation in relation to the attempted bribery of deputy Pavlos Haikalis. The deputy has been called to testify twice and, according to the same sources, has revealed the name of the person that attempted to bribe him.
The same sources said that in cooperation with police he had arranged to meet with the suspect but he did not appear.
The prosecution is alleged to have sent directly the video tape to the Criminal Investigation service.
On Friday the leader of the ANEL party, Panos Kammenos, said that he had met with the man who allegedly tried to bribe Haikalis, and much to every one's amazement he said that this man briefly worked as his consultant.
Kammenos said that he cannot publish the taped footage as Greek law doesn't permit him to air material produced through unauthorized taping, but he stressed that he would send a copy to Greece's Minister of Justice and the parliamentary speaker, so the latter could inform political leaders.
So let us recap what has been alleged so far:
- The "suspect" worked as a consultant for Kammenos on economic issues. The man had also worked as consultant at Deutsche Bank and later on at Piraeus Bank as well.
- Haikalis claims he was offered about 700,000 euros in cash, a loan repayment and advertising contracts, with the alleged bribe total value amounting to more than 2 million euros. Haikalis points out that he informed a prosecutor about two weeks ago and had turned over audio and video material.
- Kammenos says that the so called "suspect" told Haikalis he could arrange an appointment with prime minister Antonis Samaras.
- Haikalis claims that the prosecutor urged him to tape the meeting with the suspect and he only taped two of the meetings because the man never showed up for a third meeting.
- Kammenos threatened that if Greece's Minister of Justice and the parliament speaker do not reveal the man’s name, he is going to do so before the third round of the presidential election.
Even though Kammenos and Haikalis refused to reveal the name of the so called "suspect", the Greek media went on a frenzy and quickly identified him as George Apostolopoulos (pictured above).
As soon as this happened, Apostolopoulos, who is a former banker and aide to Kammenos, went on the attack against Haikalis.
In a statement, which was featured on enikos.gr, Apostolopoulos referred to Haikalis by his primary professions which are an actor and director, while he described Kammenos as a "showman" and even hinted that they may have made up the story.
Nonetheless, a Greek prosecutor was expected to call Apostolopoulos in for questioning to determine whether or not he attempted to bribe Haikalis so that he can secure his vote in the presidential election.
At present, the prosecution is investigating a previous case on attempted bribery of lawmakers.
Going on the defence, the New Democracy party only confirmed that the so called "suspect" was indeed an associate of Kammenos and they noted that the entire case is staged.
They also went a little further and released a couple of pictures of Kammenos in a meeting with members from the main opposition SYRIZA party, in which the man in question is seen sitting next to him.
ND Secretary, Andreas Papamimikos noted that "if the judicial investigation doesn't prove anything "it will reveal that this is a staged provocation."
"The person accused by Independent Greeks was a close associate of Panos Kammenos and had accompanied him at a meeting with Alexis Tsipras on March 22, 2013 and on his visit to Cyprus on April 1, 2013," Papamimikos said.At Parliament, the House Ethics Committee decided to give copies of the DVD containing the audiovisual material to party leaders.
"He's Panos Kammenos' main defence witness in the CDS case. Everyone can now draw their own conclusions," he added.
From what we read, Samaras has decided not to receive the DVD footage, and instead he decided to send it straight to the Prosecutor as an illegal product.
A few hours later, and while speaking to reporters, ANEL representative Maria Kollia-Tsarouha was asked which other MP was approached and she replied “a woman”. Asked to clarify if it is MP Stavroula Xoulidou, Kollia-Tsarouha replied that it was in fact Elena Kountoura.
“The middleman insinuated that someone received a bribe”, was Haikalis’ earlier statement during the press conference he held with Kammenos.When HellasFrappe googled this bit of information we discovered that Protothema.gr contacted ANEL MP Elena Kountoura who denied that there was an attempt to bribe her.
“I spoke with Mrs. Kollia-Tsarouha. Mrs. Kollia-Tsarouha refuses that she said anything like that and is furious. Call her”, said Mrs. Kountoura.Tsarouha’s statements that the DVD which Kammenos sent to parliament has undergone a montage, has created a stir.
“I have nothing else to say to you. Nothing is applicable”, she added.
According to her, the DVD contains scenes from the first meeting of Pavlos Haikalis with Apostolopoulos, while the sound is from the second meeting between Haikalis and Apostolopoulos!
(If it looks like a Japanese film then it has undergone montage... but if it doesn't then they are in real trouble for creating such a stir).
New Democracy, the Greek conservative-socialist coalition government's senior partner, has heaped scorn on allegations of bribery that surfaced Friday, accusing the Independent Greeks and main opposition Syriza of "blackmailing" wavering MPs into not voting for President of the Republic.
At New Democracy, spokeswoman Anna Assimakopoulou said that the SYRIZA and ANEL parties are directing a "parody".
"Plot: A group of plotters are trying to blackmail Greek MPs into not electing a President of the Republic...we reply: you cannot blackmail democracy. Let the Syriza-Independent Greeks coalition understand this. Their effort will fail," Assimakopoulou said.References in Greek - enikos, protothema