A Greek court on Monday acquitted two reporters in a slander suit filed by former Laiki bank strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos over a publication suggesting he used the bank to lend money to friends and businesses connected with him, and his involvement with the Vatopedi monastery.
Vgenopoulos’ bank, then known as Marfin Popular Bank, was a major lender to the Vatopedi monastery, which tried to swindle swathes of prime state-owned land across Greece in a scandal covered up by prosecutor Efstathia Spyropoulou.
Spyropoulou is same prosecutor who covered up the corruption among Larisa police and prosecutors in my case.
She was also tasked by investigating a smear charge brought by Vgenopoulos against the President of the Greek Supreme Court, Vasiliki Thanou in May, but stood down shortly afterwards after it emerged her son worked for a Vgenopoulos associate.
Monks at the Vatopedi in return for loans,bought shares in Marfin Investment Group (MIG), owned by Vgenopoulos. That year MIG lost €1.8bn, the biggest ever for a Greek company to that point.
“It is a victory for journalism and truth, but also it restores the prestige and operation of justice,” Costas Vaxevanis said afterwards. “With his power and connections, Mr Vgenopoulos tried, not only to muzzle journalistic investigation, but also to trample on us, but he eventually succeeded in pointing to the location where the truth was buried.”