Police arrests newspaper director after lawsuit filed by ANEL leader

Police arrested the publisher and the director of “Parapolitika” newspaper on Tuesday following a lawsuit filed against them for libel and attempted extortion by ANEL leader and government coalition partner Panos Kammenos.

The publisher, Ioannis Kourtakis, said in a Facebook post he went voluntarily to police headquarters (GADA) after being informed about the lawsuit, while director Panagiotis Tzenos was arrested by police in his office.

“ANEL president and Defence Minister Panos Kammenos filed a lawsuit against Kourtakis […] and Tzenos […], for repeated libel and attempted extortion through repeated attacks against Panos Kammenos […] made by the radio station ‘Parapolitika 90.1 FM’, in order for the minister to withdraw his accusations that Kourtakis allegedly received 843,000 euros from KEELPNO and Tzenos 629,000 euros,” an ANEL press release said about the arrests.

The Athens union of journalists (ESHEA) said it is “deeply concerned” about the climate created after the arrest of the publisher and the director of the newspaper “Parapolitika”.

“The board of ESHEA is deeply concerned about the climate formed by the intervention of law enforcement authorities in journalists’ offices. Journalism must be exercised with specific rules, but the freedom of the press must be defended and protected by everyone,” the union said in a statement.