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Greek Prosecutor Reopens Suicide Case Tied to Olympics Tap Scandal

ATHENS -An Athens Appeals Court prosecutor has reopened an investigation into the alleged suicide of a mobile phone company executive tied to a wiretapping scandal just ahead of the 2004 Olympic Games here.

Prosecutor Antonis Liogas ordered the probe into the death of 38-year-old Vodafone employee Costas Tsalikidis, who was found by his mother hanging in his bathroom in 2005, just a day before the discovery of spyware secretly hidden in Vodafone’s network.

That was done as part of security measures – another scandal – to allegedly bug the phones of dozens of Greek officials and politicians, including former prime minister Costas Karamanlis.

The new probe comes just after the European Court of Human Rights ruled in favor of Tsalikidis’ family who said the death was a murder and not a suicide and that he was killed because of his possible involvement in the wiretapping case.

The European Court of Human Rights fined Greece 54,000 euros ($63,982) for “failing to carry out an adequate and effective investigation” into the death, although it was unclear whether it would be paid because has a record of ignoring EU orders and rulings.

The death was twice investigated by Greek authorities with the first saying that Tsakalidis, who was found hanging, was indeed hanged.

The second, requested by the family and with the help of foreign analysts between 2012-14 agreed with the suicide verdict although two of three coroners dissented and said there were a lack of injuries normally associated with hanging.

They also said there were contradictions in the rope mark on the deceased’s neck – and concluded that the cause of death remained unclarified. There was no explanation then why the overall conclusion was that it was still suicide.

The European Court was scathing in its criticism of the Greek prosecutors, saying that the Greek authorities had not addressed any of the inconsistencies.

“Indeed, it was not even clear on what grounds the public prosecutor had based his decision not to prosecute or to order further investigative measures, as his decision to close the investigation had contained no reasoning,” it said, the Athens News Agency reported.

It also said that as the prosecutor in the initial investigation had mentioned that the death was causally linked to the wiretapping case, it had “been all the more important to take every measure necessary to investigate Costas Tsalikidis’ death.”

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