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Usury and forgery surround the suicide of a close collaborator of a former minister

14 September 2011 / 15:09:14  GRReporter
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Two years after the suicide of one of the closest collaborators of Evangelos Meimarakis - the Minister of Defence in the last government of New Democracy - the case is revealed from criminal point of view.

The friend from childhood and subsequently the best man and close collaborator of the former minister, Nikos Koutsaftakis was found dead in his car on December 14, 2009. The prosecutor Iphigenia Gaki, who conducted the preliminary investigation, started criminal persecution against three persons involved in the case of allegations of usury, fraud and forgery and sent the folder on the case to court.

Zougla.gr reads that according to the police records, one of the main persons involved in this case is the brother of the formers minister’s secretary and head of his office in the Ministry of Defence. The letter left by the suicide defines him as "major money spinner" and "the man who put the gun in my hand."

This particular person is an engineer with extensive CV who has held various important public posts in the past. From June 15, 2004 to June 30, 2006, he was special assistant to the Directorate General of the Regional Administration in the Peloponnese and took part in the meetings of the European Parliament. Then, he was permanently appointed in the municipality of Halandri where he worked as an engineer - technologist in the past.

In his dying letter, Nikos Koutsaftakis wrote that this particular person gave him a loan in checks worth € 68,000 and then extorted him for an interest amounting to 1,000 per cent. "He forced me to pledge my house and threatened me that he will sell it at an auction," stated the letter of the suicide.

According to his testimony before the police authorities during the preliminary investigation, the engineer confessed that he had given Nikos Koutsaftakis the amount of € 325,000 to help him. He said he had met him through his sister and then they had friendly relations. In his own words, from 2004 to 2007 he had lent the suicide € 240,000 to cover the costs of translating the will of a relative from America, and to settle with lawyers. In May 2008, he had given him another € 75,000. The engineer has mortgaged the entire property of Nikos Koutsaftakis’ family. In June this year, he has given under the hammer one of the family apartments for a debt of € 121,819.

It seems that another person plays a major role in this case. The suicide described him as a forger. A check worth € 170,000, issued by Nikos Koutsaftakis, which is believed to have been forged, was found with him. The person himself says that he has lent the best men of the former minister € 170,000 in the period 2000 – 2007.

The third person involved is of Albanian origin named Spiros.

According to the police records, Nikos Koutsaftakis drove his wife Marina to the bus station at 6 am on December 14, 2009. At 9 am, he met his friend - the owner of the canteen in the Athens Amalia Fleming Hospital – and told him he was there to give blood. This is the last person who saw him alive.

At 2:40 pm, an employee went to the parking lot to take her vehicle and found Nikos Koutsaftakis dead in his car. A Maverick shotgun was found on the seat beside him as well as a 35 cartridges belt in the back seat, and a letter, an act of confiscation, his cell phone, his ID card and a fine from the justice of the peace in Halandri were in his pocket.

It is worth noting that during the term of Evangelos Meimarakis in the Ministry of Defence, Nikos Koutsaftakis was his "right hand" as a special adviser.

However, according to his family, although his friend from the childhood in his dying letter asked the former minister to support them after the suicide, he "vanished".

Tags: Crime newsPoliticsSuicideFormer minister' collaboratorUsuryForgery
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