Greek police step up hunt for journalist killers

Police officers cordoned off the area outside the home of Greek journalist Giorgos Karaivaz after his assassination in Alimos, on the south coast of Attica, Greece, in 2021. Photo: EPA-EFE / ORESTIS PANAGIOTOU

Greek police are stepping up efforts to locate the perpetrators of last Friday’s execution-type murder of veteran journalist Giorgos Karaivaz, shooting him outside his home in the southern Athens suburb of Alimos.

Investigators are looking into the possibility that two different teams were involved in the street massacre. The first team probably monitored the journalist’s movements after he left STAR TV, where he had been on a daytime show, and then informed the second team, who waited in the area on a motorbike and executed The crime.

A CCTV video camera appears to show two runners about seven minutes before the attack. The driver can be seen wearing a helmet while the second driver, who witnesses said jumped off the bike and shot the reporter as he exited his car, wears a khaki hoodie, sunglasses and a mask.

Karivaz received a total of ten bullets, six of which were to the chest. He was also reportedly shot twice in the head, confirming testimony from a passer-by that when he fell to the ground he received the last blow from the assassins before they fled.

According to the media Kathimerini, police believe the Beverly scooter used in the attack was stolen and have created a log of motorcycles of the same type reported recently stolen from their owners.

Police also attempted to locate the perpetrators’ safe home. The surveys focus on Airbnb hotels and apartments in the southern suburbs of Athens, but also on recent arrivals at Greek airports and across land borders. At the moment, the main storyline seems to be that the two writers were brought in from abroad for the coup and left afterwards.

On Saturday, Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis, tweeted: “The cold-blooded assassination of Giorgos Karaivaz shocked the whole society”, adding that he met the Minister of Citizen Protection, Michalis Chrisochoidis, to urge him to help solve the case.

But Mitsotakis has been criticized for not responding to news of the assassination until 24 hours after the attack. His tweet came hours after various media freedom watchdogs, such as the Committee to Protect Journalists, and foreign officials, including the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, had already condemned the attack.

Former prime minister and leader of the opposition SYRIZA party, Alexis Tsipras, also criticized the government, saying that “those campaigning for public order have let the country become a colony of organized crime and crime. ‘uncontrolled action of mafia gangs “.

Speaking on television, Deputy Minister of Citizen Protection Lefteris Oikonomou said a series of similar-style assassinations over the past three years suggested that some form of “open warfare” was being In progress.

On the website he founded and managed, which focused on crime and law enforcement, Karivaz had reported on more than ten killings that have taken place since 2018 and are attributed to conflicts between different gangs. for supremacy. Authorities investigated his laptop, car and cell phone, which were also reportedly shot.

Karaivaz’s funeral took place on Sunday in Kallifytos, a village just outside Drama, where her only son, Dimitris, 19, said: “My father believed in people a lot and he loved them. He believed in a second chance ”.

“Of course, we want the people who killed him to be arrested, so that they don’t kill anyone else in the future,” he added.

“But my father would forgive them for killing him and would seek the reason behind it and would not want this event to terrorize society – a society that fights for freedom and equality,” he concluded.

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