In a bizarre if not macabre episode, the boss of daily Politis was this week handed a summons ordering him to appear in court in Greece for a defamation suit filed by financier Andreas Vgenopoulos – some two months after the former Laiki strongman passed.
The summons was delivered to the newspaper’s Nicosia offices on January 11 of this year.
Vgenopoulos died on November 5, 2016.
The request for mutual legal assistance had been filed to the justice ministry here on October 10, 2016.
The only two witnesses cited on the summons are Vgenopoulos – now deceased – and a close associate of his.
The Politis boss is being sued for “repeated defamation via the press.”
According to the paper, the summons was delivered without the knowledge of justice minister Ionas Nicolaou.
The paper said that apparently the case was processed by a functionary at the ministry, who did not bother to check if Vgenopoulos was still alive.
In order to have a summons delivered to a Cypriot national for a trial in Greece, a Greek private citizen must first go through the justice ministry, which either approves or denies the request under the mutual legal assistance arrangement between the two countries.
Politis said that previous attempts – and there were several – by Vgenopoulos to deliver summons to Cypriot journalists here had been summarily denied by the justice ministry.
It was therefore odd, the paper said, that this particular summons finally made it to the intended target.
At any rate, because the summons was made on behalf of Vgenopoulos as an individual – and not his estate – it is now a moot point.