A pack of papers has been sent this morning from the lawyer Mr Sofos. I had highly important commitments to fulfill, however, given the fact that they wrote 51 pages, it would be unfair not to take a look.
So, Vaggelis Marinakis took legal action and he demands 300,000 euros from me, the Editor in Chief, the same amount from Aris Asvestas, and 300,000 euros more from SDNA as a whole. In total, 900,000 euros, only in this legal action. In another one he demands other sums, and in the next one he may demand more. I scraped myself for a while really troubled and I started reading. And from scraping I passed over to rubbing my eyes.
Why do you think Mr. Marinakis took this legal action? Because we referred to his name as allegedly defendant in the criminal organization scandal. Because we published his photo. Because we referred to the statements of the witnesses and those of the defendants.
Because “they tarnish deeply both my honour and my reputation and they offend my personality, harming my prestige both domestically and abroad as a person as a father and as a professional…”.
Be aware now: Just two days before Vaggelis Marinakis faces the special investigator Mr Andreadis in order to testify as the main alleged defendant for the criminal organization, he takes legal action against a website because it mentions him as a defendant and because it gives light to documents and more.
Marinakis does not say that we are lying and neither he doubts the existing documents. He just thinks that his name did not have to be mentioned or his photo to be published.
Olympiacos president doesn't believe that it is an issue that interests the public opinion nor that it is necessary for the right to information.
And that we should respect the presumption of innocence, as he says. Which, by all means, we do respect. He was never considered guilty by SDNA, nor was there a suspicion about something like that. We are just reporting facts and we will continue doing it, without defaming, just based on the freedom of the press and public interest that forces the publication of documents that influence the life of this country.
The case "Greek football" is of major importance, it is a social phenomenon and it is not a matter of solving personal issues, leaving all the documents in the drawer. If Marinakis doesn't understand how important the accusations he is facing are and that information is of public interest, then we... rest our case...
Obviously, Marinakis will sue all media that have mentioned his name, otherwise we will have to take legal action too.
Unless SDNA homepage is his sole bookmark. Could it be like that? Marinakis believes that a website which has not completed even six months makes such a strong impact...
And, obviously, no “Media revolution” can be without aftermath. Publishing the truth and bringing to light the case of the criminal organization has its cost. But it is our duty to publish such important documents, because in many cases an exclusive report led to the solution of felonious cases. All we seek is for those who are guilty to be judged properly, so that we can move on to the redemptive end.
However, since Vaggelis Marinakis believes that he was wronged or that his reputation and prestige was besmirched he did the right thing. In the past there were businessmen associated with football who gave orders to their henchmen to beat and blackmail the journalists and they even had the power to fire the reporters.
It would be such a breakthrough for our society if Vaggelis Marinakis uses tactics that suit a well-governed community to be proved right. But after reading the whole lawsuit, I believe that the legal action is unfounded and that Themis Sofos has to try harder next time.
Until then, we continue as usual. On Thursday sdna will cover Vagelis Marinakis plea to the accusations that he is the mastermind of Greek football's criminal organization with the suitable respect both to Olympiacos president and to our readers. Stay tuned...