Greek High Court Will Rule On Russian Whistleblower’s Malta Extradition

May 15, 2018

ATHENS – Greece’s highest court on June 14 will decided whether Russian whistleblower Maria Efimova, a key source to a murdered Maltese journalist investigating wrongdoing, can be extradited to face charges in that country.

Malta wants Greece to execute European arrest warrants against Efimova for allegedly providing false evidence, making false accusations to authorities, and appropriation of funds.

Efimova, 36, had revealed what she called evidence of a massive scandal at her bank , leading up to the Prime Minister’s office that was being looked into by journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was killed in a car bombing on Oct. 16, 2017. Three Maltese men have been ordered to stand trial for her murder.

Efimova told the court she feared she would be killed if she’s forced to return. She had fled to Cyprus with her family before turning herself into police in Greece, seeking protection. She said she’s the only living witness who can provide evidence of corruption at the highest level in Malta, a European Union country with a notorious reputation for scandal.

“Daphne is no longer here. The only witness will be me. This is why it is possible they don’t want me to exist,” she said, Kathimerini reported.

Last month, the Athens Appeal Council rejected the extradition request and ordered that she be released from temporary detention. State prosecutor Antonis Liogas referred the case to the Supreme Court where the final decision will be taken.

Efimova was employed for three months in 2016 by the Maltese-registered Pilatus Bank. Her first contact with Caruana Galizia was by email in October 2016 and their co-operation started in February 2017.

Efimova told the newspaper Kathimerini in an interview how fearful she was after investigative Daphne Caruana Galizia was killed by a car bomb in October, 2107.

Efimova had worked for the President of the Pilatus Bank who is now facing charges in the United States.
“It was I who first sent an e-mail to Daphne. I had read her articles on the activities of Pilatus Bank. She had some information and I decided to help her. Before I left Pilatus, I had gathered evidence on its illegal activities,” Efimvoa said.

According to the journalist’s research, Pilatus Bank is alleged to have been the broker for  shady transactions by the company Egrant Inc. that reportedly belonged to the spouse of Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat. Muscat and his wife have denied the accusations.

Efimova told Kathimerini her name was leaked to the press on May 2016. “A judge gave my name to the press. After Caruana’s reports, I went to testify on everything I knew. I didn’t join a witness protection program, but the judge assured me my name would remain secret,” she said.

She decided with her Greek husband and their two children to leave Malta on June 2017.

“We went to several countries before ending up on Crete in September. I was watching news in Malta. It was mainly focused on an imminent parliamentary election and I assumed that my case was slowly being forgotten. But in October Caruana was murdered in a car bombing. I didn’t ask for protection but I spoke with a delegation of MEPs and told them I am ready to help the investigation and find the journalist’s killers,” she said.

“There was fear that something would happen to me before the arrest, as part of the information on the bank’s activities had come from me,” she said.

“She’s in good shape, but she is emotionally upset as she’s not used to detention,” her lawyer Alexandros Papasteriopoulos said in April.


PARIS – During this year's Paris Design & Art Week, Greek artist Konstantin Kakanias unveiled his inaugural furniture collection, as reported by Town & Country (TC) magazine on April 16.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


Indians Vote in the First Phase of the World’s Largest Election as Modi Seeks a Third Term

NEW DELHI (AP) — Millions of Indians began voting Friday in a six-week election that's a referendum on Narendra Modi, the populist prime minister who has championed an assertive brand of Hindu nationalist politics and is seeking a rare third term as the country's leader.

NEW YORK – The iconic Greek singer Haris Alexiou appeared on a billboard at the famous ‘Crossroads of the World,’ Times Square in New York on April 18 as the face of a global campaign for equality in the music industry, Athens Voice reported.

ATHENS - The ballot paper for the upcoming European elections was presented by the leader of SYRIZA - Progressive Alliance Stefanos Kasselakis, on Friday night at the 'Hellenic Cosmos' Cultural Center.

ATHENS - The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the upgraded port of Sigri in Lesvos as part of his tour of the island on Friday.

ASTORIA – Danae and Hellenic Aesthetic announced the launch of their collaboration ‘Dressing the Table’ on the Hellenic Aesthetic blog on April 17, noting that “the inspiration behind this project is to bring new life into our forgotten family heirlooms, like hand-embroidered tablecloths, so we can enjoy them in a modern way.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.