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Society

Greek Children’s Book Author Charged Over Child Pornography Videos

ATHENS – An award-winning Greek children’s book author charged with possession of child pornography from the Internet downloaded the videos for a book project, his lawyer said in defense.

Vassilis Papatheodorou, 53, was arrested on the charges and taken into custody in the southern city of Tripoli after an investigation by the Cyber  Cyber Crime Division of the Greek police.

It came, said the site Newsbomb, after information was received from foreign law enforcement sources not named, which led prosecutors to allow police to search his house and two computer hard drives where the pornography was said discovered.

More than 90 videos of child pornography were reportedly found, some of which featured children under the age of 12, reports said, but his lawyer Stavros Georgopoulos reportedly said his client used a specific software to downloaded files in bulk once with no preview.

He said Papatheodorou hadn’t watched the videos nor did he know the content and was distraught over being charged, but didn’t say how his client wouldn’t know what he purchased.

The author’s publisher, Kastaniotis, said it had stopped any collaboration with him “as soon as it was informed that a criminal investigation is underway by the judicial authorities for a serious accusation.” He headed Kastaniotis children’s department.

Papatheodorou won multiple awards for his illustrated books for children and novels for adolescents, including the Greek state prize for children’s literature in 2008 and 2010.

He was one of 251 nominees revealed for Sweden’s Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2023 but the Hellenic Author’s Society said it withdrew that from competition for “outstanding contribution to children’s and young adult literature.”

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