16 May, 2006
The government on Monday stressed that there was no change to its position on the Pakistani abductions issue since the previous week.
Alternate government spokesman Evangelos Antonaros reiterated, meanwhile, that the judicial investigation into the affair was being handled as a priority issue at the government's request.
The spokesman also denied that then public order minister George Voulgarakis had secret meetings with U.S. officials, stressing that all the minister's meetings had been openly announced.
On Friday, in the wake of a decision by the public prosecutor's office to press charges against unknown parties for the abduction of Pakistani nationals in Athens, Antonaros had said that the government would wait until the judicial investigation was fully concluded.
He also underlined that the charges had not been filed against any specific suspects.
On Thursday, Supreme Court Prosecutor Dimitris Linos announced that the public prosecutors' office was pressing criminal charges against unknown persons for the Pakistani abductions, based on the report of investigating public prosecutor Nikos Degaitis. This found indications that two officers of the Greek intelligence service EYP might be involved in the affair and that the abductions were carried out by members of the Greek state services.
The case will now go to an examining magistrate, who will investigate the extent of their involvement, if any.
Degaitis had been assigned the case last December and instructed to look into the allegations of 20 Pakistani nationals that they had been abducted held for interrogation by Greek and British intelligence agents last summer, after the terror attacks in London.
The abduction and interrogation claims had earlier been denied by Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis and by the Pakistani Embassy in Greece, which said that it had received no complaints from the relatives or friends of the alleged victims, as well as Pakistani Interior Minister Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao when he was in Greece for a quadrilateral meeting on preventing organized crime two weeks ago. British foreign secretary Jack Straw also denied the allegations as "utter nonsense".
Source: Athens News Agency