15 December, 2005
The government on Wednesday again vehemently rejected charges that a handful of Pakistani workers living in Athens were abducted and interrogated last July by either Greek of foreign intelligence services, with the relevant public order minister referring to a "provocation or farce" in the case.
Several Athens dailies over the summer initially published allegations by the seven Pakistanis, who said they were arrested in a central Athens residence, handcuffed, hooded and interrogated by English-speaking agents for some 48 hours outside of Athens regarding their connections with Britain and London. The alleged incident took place shortly after the suicide bombings in London.
The issue again resurfaced following a BBC report that cited the fact that Greek police will begin an investigation of the allegations following repeated urgings by an attorney representing the seven and repeated inquiries by opposition political parties.
Greek Public Order Minister George Voulgarakis pointed to the fact that the BBC report did not add any new information to the case, whereas he noted that neither the Pakistani embassy in Athens nor Pakistani authorities have been informed of such an incident.
"No such incident existed or exists for Greek authorities," Voulgarakis said.
His statements come ahead of a Thursday conference with Turkish and Pakistani officials over security issues and efforts to combat illegal immigration and organized crime.
On his part, British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw earlier in the week called the allegations "complete nonsense".
Source: Athens News Agency