‘Cowardly act’: Greek PM demands urgent probe into journalist’s murder

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday demanded the “swift resolution” of a probe into a crime journalist’s murder already condemned by leading EU officials, political parties and media unions.

Mitsotakis had summoned his police minister Michalis Chrysochoidis to a Saturday meeting on the case, the PM’s office said.

Giorgos Karaivaz, who worked for private TV station Star and also ran the news blog bloko.gr, was shot several times Friday as he exited his car outside his house in the southern Athens district of Alimos, witnesses said.

READ MORE: Veteran Greek journalist murdered outside Athens home

A police source told AFP the 52-year-old journalist had been shot by two men on a motorbike. Seventeen bullet casings were recovered from the scene.

The murder was rapidly condemned by the European Commission and the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights.

Journalist Giorgos Karaivaz ambushed and murdered. (Photo by Eurokinissi/ Yiannis Panagopoulos)

“Murdering a journalist is a despicable, cowardly act,” Commission chief Ursula von der Leyen tweeted Friday. 

“Europe stands for freedom. And freedom of press may be the most sacred of all. Journalists must be able to work safely. My thoughts are with the family of George Karaivaz. I hope the criminals are soon brought to justice,” she said.

Karaivaz had worked for some of Greece’s leading newspapers and TV channels in a 32-year career.

Chrysochoidis said Saturday that Greek police “as it always does” would soon find the assassins of journalist Giorgos Karaivaz and would turn them over to justice.

“Every statistic shows Greece has a very small number of homicides in Europe. It is a safe and calm country,” Chrysochoidis said. “The Greek state functions with the utmost respect for the freedom of the press and the protection of rights.” 

While Greek media offices are frequently targeted in firebomb and vandalism attacks, journalist killings are rare.

Some journalists request police protection after receiving threats, but Karaivaz was unguarded.

“It was not his style to request protection,” a police officer who knew Karaivaz well told AFP, speaking on condition of anonymity. 

Sourced By: AFP

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