Former director of Greece’s National Theater denies new rape charges, requests release

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Dimitris Lignadis, the former director of the National Theater who is in pre-trial detention facing a number of rape charges, has submitted a request to be released on condition that he remain under house arrest and wear an electronic monitoring device.

Appearing before an investigating magistrate on Thursday, the actor refused to respond to questions about two more rape allegations, presenting a written statement that refuted the new charges instead.

In his statement, Lignadis, who has already been charged with repeatedly raping two minors, denies the new allegations of raping a 17-year-old male seven years ago and an adult in 2018.

Plain-clothed policemen escort handcuffed well-known actor and director Dimitris Lignadis, center, to a magistrate’s office in Athens, Sunday, February 21, 2021. Photo: AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis.

READ MORE: Greek director Dimitris Lignadis ordered jailed on child abuse allegations.

His lawyer, Alexis Kougias, said his client had filed an injunction against the investigator for prejudice. 

Appealing for release, Lignadis stated he would bear the cost of the electronic monitoring device.  Electronic monitoring is currently being piloted in Greece.

Plain clothed police officers escort handcuffed well-known actor and director, Dimitris Lignadis, center, as they leave a magistrate’s office in Athens, Sunday, February 21, 2021. Photo: AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis.

A judicial council will now decide on whether the new rape charges should result in another order for additional pre-trial detention or whether it can be covered by the existing one. The maximum period of pre-trial detention is 18 months. If another warrant is issued against the actor, his maximum pre-trial detention could be extended to 24 months. 

Lignadis was returned to Tripoli prison after the hearing. 

READ MORE: Ex-Artistic Director of Greece’s National Theater arrested, charged with rape.

Source: Ekathimerini.

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