Coroner Attributes Greek Ex-Minister Death to Severe Head Injuries

ATHENS — Severe injuries to the head and neck that led to subsequent drowning caused the death of former PASOK minister Sifis Valyrakis, coroner Nikos Kalogrias announced on Tuesday.

He said that these injuries were inflicted by a blunt and cutting object, such as a boat's propeller and, given that the incident happened in the water, this resulted in him drowning.

The coroner said he found no indication that Valyrakis had a heart problem or fainting episode.

Sifis Valyrakis, was found dead at sea Sunday night. He was 77. Valyrakis had sailed with his inflatable craft at noon (1000 GMT) off the coast of the island of Evia in central Greece, where his family has a vacation home. His wife alerted authorities to his absence. His craft was found in the afternoon without him and his body was found just after 8:30 p.m. local (1830 GMT), the coast guard said.

Conditions at sea were “good,” a coast guard spokeswoman told The Associated Press, adding that no cause of death can be given yet.

Valyrakis was minister of public order, in charge of the security and intelligence services, from March 1995 to January 1996. Earlier, in the 1980s and 1990s, he was deputy public order minister, sports minister and deputy transport and communications minister in the Socialist governments of Andreas Papandreou, from 1981-89 and 1993-96.


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