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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 31 March 2018
26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 31 MARCH 2018 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Marinakis claims political conspiracy in drug trafficking charges levelled against him Greek Supreme Court dismisses Marinakis’ matchfixing charges Vangelis Marinakis. PHOTO: EUROKINISSI/ CLODIAN LATO Four years ago, Greek Coast Guard officers seized what is believed to be a record haul of 2.1 tonnes of drugs, mainly heroin, from a small tanker, Noor 1, and a warehouse near Athens. The criminal investigation which followed has resulted in 15 people going to prison. However, that may not be the end of the matter. Last Friday Greek public prosecutor Erini Tziva levelled what are described as "very serious charges" against Greek tycoon Evangelos Marinakis, owner of Olympiakos FC and English Football League Championship club Nottingham Forest. Reuters reports an anonymous judiciary source said the charges against Marinakis followed a preliminary in- vestigation into the financial transfers related to the financing of the tanker. According to the judiciary source, following these preliminary charges against Marinakis, the public prosecutor has ordered a further investigation by a magistrate specialising in corruption. A day after the charges, 50-year-old Marinakis immediately launched a robust defence issuing statements in his Ta Nea newspaper and on the Olympiakos club website. In the statement he denies any involvement in the matters raised, declaring his innocence and alleging that the accusations are a result of a deliberate plot, "a dirty plan". He accused the government of exploiting and manipulat- ing the media to influence and bring about judicial developments. Marinakis said in the statements: "The recent judicial action is a deliberate attempt at character assassination. The allegations are fabricated and without any foundation in law or fact. It is a deliberate plot that has long been in the making and as such it is not only offensive, but quite simply criminal . . . I have never had anything whatsoever to do with the acts for which an investigative inquiry is apparently set to be restarted. It is clear to me that the results of any new investigation will confirm my innocence. “Protesting against me is a product of schism and it has nothing to do with the truth. The plan has long been revealed. And it's not just a draft provocative and repulsive, but literally criminal. The rule of law is being abolished and democracy is undermined. I have never had anything to do with the acts for which an investigative inquiry is to be conducted, the result of which I am absolutely certain to be the confirmation of my innocence. There is not the least evidence to me and the action against me is arbitrary. "For a long time, members of the co-government have persistently targeted and steadily prompted their actions. In an ordered service against me, they manipulate and use certain journalistic networks and journalists with a heavy "register" to induce or blackmail judicial developments. “I have no doubt that it will soon be revealed to the Greek citizens who are the architects of the miserable squabble: The co-governors of the most dangerous government that the place has known in order to disorient the Greek people from the deadlocks they have led them, in the hope to silence each independent voice. "I will not compromise, I will not capitulate, nor will I succumb to their dirty plan." According to Greek media, the Greek government has declined to comment on the case or respond to Marinakis' statement. Nor have court authorities made any public announcements on the matter, which is standard practice in Greece. The BBC, which also reported on the charges, said that both Nottingham Forest and the English Football League had declined to comment on the matter. In better news for the Greek tycoon, the Greek Supreme court announced on Monday that it was dismissing all charges against Marinakis relating to match-fixing and the creation of a criminal gang operating within the sport in Greece. In response to the announcement Marinakis said, "My integrity has been unequivocally ascertained by the Greek Supreme Court. The decision confirmed that the allegations against me were unfounded and do not merit even for a court hearing." Antetokounmpo signature shoe to be launched by Nike Giannis Antetokounmpo is set to become the first nonAmerican basketball player to have a Nike shoe bear his name. The 'Greek Freak' will soon have his own signature shoe by Nike. "We're thrilled to expand our relationship; with this we bring unique personality to life through new signature product and storytelling next year," Nike CEO Mark Parker said after announcing the collaboration in December. The Milwaukee Buck signed a long–term deal with Nike in early November, and a signature shoe was rumored to be in the works upon his signing. Meanwhile, Antetokounmpo has secured the 'Greek Freak' nickname as his trademark through the United States Patent and Trademark Office, as he has many times explained that he feels Greek to the core and will continue to promote his Greek identity. The Milwaukee Bucks MVP, who is regarded as NBA's most sought after new star will have his nickname "on backpacks, as well as shirts, T-shirts, sweatshirts, hooded sweatshirts, jackets, hooded jackets, sports jerseys, socks, warm-up suits, caps, hats," according to the Trademark Office notice. The sum of the Nike deal has not yet been released but the NBA star can still recall the times he could not afford his own pair of sneakers. In an interview with CBS News' 60 Minutes program on Sunday, the talented baller revealed he had to share sneakers with his brother while growing up in Greece. "You know, it was tough. We didn't have a lot of money. But we had a lot of happiness. So we wasn't broke happiness-wise. When we were struggling back in the day, we were all together in one room, same room. We were having fun. We were smiling. There was some tough times," he told presenter Steve Kroft.
24 March 2018
7 April 2018