A “catapult” according to two of Kyriakos Mitsotakis’s closest associates is the decision numbered 9402/2022 of the Single-Member Court of First Instance of Athens which rejected the lawsuit they had filed against the journalist and administrator of the periodista.gr website, Dimitri Bekiari, the general secretary of the Parliament. Giorgos Mylonakis but also the director of the Prime Minister’s office in the Parliament, Michalis Bekiris.
This is a publication of periodista.gr, on the occasion of a complaint by Pavlos Polakis on Facebook about the issue of the supply of sanitary material by the 6th Health Ministry instead of a particularly high price, “whose owner was related to the Commander of the 6th Health Ministry Giannis Karvelis (as his brother his brother-in-law), attributing consequential responsibilities both to the Commander of the 6th Ministry of Defense and to the political leadership” as stated in the court decision.
Read also: Decision – “breath” for the Freedom of the Press and “slap” for the “Mitsotakis system”
As pointed out in the relevant decision, during the posting period of the publication in question “the question of the correct or incorrect management of resources by the Administration of the 6th Ministry of Health with regard to the decided direct assignments of health workers mentioned above was particularly topical since there were posts about it on websites, after relevant questions of MPs of the official opposition”.
As underlined in the court decision, “from the reading of the publication it is not clear that the claimants (Bekiris – Mylonakis) are related to the procedures of the direct assignments in question as there is explicit talk of “political cover-up”, “political exposure” and “political issue” without to create suspicions against them about any kind of legal co-responsibility for the assignments”.
Also, the Court ruled that the phrases used by the journalist in the publication “do not directly or indirectly hide real facts clearly and specifically against the plaintiffs, but are evaluations of the journalist that are part of his subjective assessments, as they were formed on the basis of his journalistic information ».
In more detail, the Court ruled that the offense of defamation is not established, nor is the offense of defamation. On the contrary, the Court ruled that “justified journalistic interest is established, for a matter of topicality regarding an alleged attempt to embezzle public money following complaints by a member of parliament”.
The justified journalistic interest “comes from the freedom of the press protected by the ECHR and the Constitution regarding issues of current affairs and for the exercise of political criticism”, as underlined.
The impressive thing about the decision of the Single-member Court of First Instance has to do with what is mentioned about the prime minister’s close associates and their attitude towards the criticism leveled at them.
As it is pointed out, G. Mylonakis and M. Bekiris are “public figures due to their professional qualities” and therefore “must show greater tolerance to the criticism leveled at them compared to non-public figures”.
This is a “monument” decision for the protection of the freedom of the press in our country, which has been violated so much in the last three years under the Mitsotakis government, with which a protective wall is erected against the journalistic activity.