‘Organized crime killed Greek journalist, investigated police corruption’ | Abroad

The murder of a Greek crime journalist, Friday in Athens, may be linked to organized crime. The Deputy Minister for crime prevention said this in an interview with the public broadcaster ERT. Colleagues of the victim suspect a connection to a corruption affair that Giorgos Karaivaz (52) reported on his blog.

Karaivaz was shot dead in front of his home on Friday afternoon. He received no fewer than ten bullets in his body: six in the chest, two in the head, one in the neck and one in his left palm. Autopsy of the remains proved that, said Deputy Minister Lefteris Economou. He suggested a connection to organized crime in the interview. The past three years, he says, has seen a series of alleged contract killings that point to an ‘open war’ between rival gangs. The Deputy Minister stressed that it is too early to make assumptions about the motives behind the murder.

Colleagues of the crime journalist suspect a connection to a corruption investigation into some 20 police officers about which he reported on his blog. It involved a series of criminal offenses including extortion, bribery and participation in a criminal organization. The crime journalist’s name was according to the newspaper Espresso mentioned in information from the Greek AIVD (EYP) about that corruption case to the Public Prosecution Service (OM). The case was referred to a criminal court in the context of a preliminary investigation. He called on the persons named in the file to come and testify anonymously. The file was then returned to the Public Prosecution Service, which so far took no further action, the newspaper said.

Greek Mafia

The investigation also examined the relationships the crime journalist had with businessman Dimitris Malamas, also known as the ‘Greek Mafia banker’. He was murdered in western Athens in October 2019. A year and a half earlier, the former police officer Spyros Papachristos had been shot. He was in contact with some of the liquidated drug lords. They are said to have fallen victim to a ‘war’ within the Greek mafia.

The murder of the crime reporter was also carried out ‘in a mafia style’. One of two masked men on a black Piaggio Beverly scooter shot the crime journalist in front of his home after getting out of his car. The shooter fired a dozen shots. After Karaivaz collapsed bleeding profusely, the duo took off at high speed. The engine was later found unattended along a highway. There were seventeen bullet shells at the crime scene. Local residents stated that they had not heard any shots. Police assume the killer used a silenced firearm.

Surveillance images

The scooter with the two men arrived ten minutes in front of the crime journalist in the street in front of his house. They waited for him to park his car and get out. A second duo had followed Karaivaz from work and informed the ‘hit men’ of the route he was taking. This emerged from analysis of surveillance images in the vicinity of the workplace and home of the fifties, Greek media report based on sources close to the study.

Karaivaz was buried on Sunday afternoon in his hometown Kallifito Drama. The funeral was broadcast on Star TV for which he worked.

Giorgos Karaivaz was buried this afternoon in his native village.
Giorgos Karaivaz was buried this afternoon in his native village. © Videostill Star TV

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‘Organized crime killed Greek journalist, investigated police corruption’ | Abroad
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