ATHENS – The names of those that lined up to rape a 12-year-old girl should be made public “as a matter of honour for our legal culture”, government spokesperson Yiannis Oikonomou said on Tuesday in an interview with ANT1 TV, talking about the shocking revelations concerning a grooming and child rape scandal uncovered by the Greek police.
“This man is a criminal, [who committed] horrific and loathsome acts. This is the reality. He and the others who lined up to abuse this 12-year-old child. It is the obligation of the state, within the legal limits that it has – a matter of the honour for our legal culture – to make public the names of those that sought to line up to rape a 12-year-old girl,” Oikonomou said.
The spokesperson was referring to the arrest of a 53-year-old business owner in the Athens district of Kolonos on charges of raping the 12-year-old, as well as making arrangements for 213 strangers that he contacted online to also abuse her.
“I am aware that our legal system is obliged to follow the rules, but on the other hand, Greek society should know whose these people are who walk among us. We are talking about a shocking case, which the Greek police have brought to light. I am absolutely certain that everything will be fully clarified…” he added, noting that Greek justice had the tools at its disposal for the exemplary punishment of the rapist and all his accomplices.
“With the change in the penal code, under conditions, if he is found guilty, he can get up to a life sentence. He was one of the members of New Democracy, he stopped being one as soon as it was made public,” the spokeperson said, stressing that there was nothing further to be said on this issue on a political level.
“He is a rapist, on whom the full severity of justice should be visited. We must learn all the rest of the names. No tolerance for criminals, no tolerance for child molestors, no tolerance for all those that do such horrible things. Our policy is a policy that, seeing the trends of the time, the development of crimes and the culmination of horror, adjusts our legal culture and our legal code both as a deterrent and punishment with more extreme penalties,” he said.
Economou noted that the accused “was neither the first nor the last person who deceived people so that they were photographed with him,” noting that the 213 who were in line to rape the girl must be identified.
“I am shocked by the fact that this could be a person that you meet and perhaps go for coffee with…it could be anyone. No tolerance,” he said.
He also commented on the energy and cost-of-living crisis, saying the government was striving to alleviate its impact on poorer households, in particular, and defending the decision to do this through a policy of benefits rather than by reducing indirect taxation, such as VAT and fuel consumption tax.