Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Athens pedophilia scandal: National theater director arrested for rape / Opposition-government allegations – International


Dimitris Lignadis, the former director of the Greek national theater, was arrested on suspicion of rape, including on some children, triggering a political scandal between the ruling New Democracy party and Syriza, the main opposition party, Euractiv reports.

Dimitris Lignadis was arrested after being charged with several repeated rapes of minors in 2010 and 2015, and will remain in custody until Wednesday when he will be heard in court.

Lignadis has denied all charges.

The Greek press writes that several complaints are expected to be made during this week. The Documento.gr website notes that some of the rapes were allegedly committed against refugee children, citing court documents.

A growing number of Greek artists have said in recent weeks that they have been sexually assaulted by famous actors in the past.

Their reports came after Olympic medalist Sofia Bekatorou testified in a trial that she was abused by a senior official of the Hellenic Yachting Federation.

Bekatorou’s testimony encouraged women in the arts to break the silence, with dozens of artists recounting similar instances of sexual harassment.

The scandal has become highly politicized after Athens Culture Minister Lina Mendoni said she would not resign as a result of the investigation.

“He deceived me (…) with his deep artistic talent, he tried to convince us that he had nothing to do with these rumors,” she said on Friday, adding that “Dimitris Lignadis is a dangerous man but this came out revealed only now ”.

However, her statement came just days after she publicly stated that there was no official complaint against Lignadis and that he would not resign as theater director.

However, left-wing MEP Stelios Kouloglou told Euractiv that Mendoni should be held accountable:

“When he took office, he canceled the competition to appoint a new director of the National Theater and appointed Mr. Lignadis. Now he says he did not know about his secret life but, whatever the situation, he must take political responsibility. “

“There is a systematic attempt to cover up the political aspects of the case because of Lignadis’ relationship with the prime minister. The subject was in fact known by the elites and is characteristic of the hypocrisy of the Greek parasitic ruling class “, added Kouglou.

The management of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival, in turn, demanded the resignation of the Minister of Culture through a unanimous decision.

“We believe that (…) the only appropriate solution is her immediate resignation,” she said in a statement.

The left-wing Syriza party has been accused of trying to gain political capital from the scandal, which in turn accuses the ruling party of trying to cover up the case by appointing Lignadis to head the theater.

But criticism of the culture minister also began to emerge from within the New Democracy party, with lawmaker Eliza Vozemberg becoming the first member of the ruling party to demand Mendoni’s resignation.

“It is the minister’s responsibility to make the appointments, whether she has been misled or not,” she said.

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#Athens #pedophilia #scandal #National #theater #director #arrested #rape #Oppositiongovernment #allegations #International

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